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01 February 2013

Blooming Bouganvillea

Bouganvillea grows bountifully here in Mallorca and is hardy, not affected by sea spray, hot and cold climates, which is why you see it swathed over houses, even coastal properties.  It comes in a big variety of colours now, from white, corals, pinks through to this cerise colour, which is probably the most popular.

Our Bouganvillea around the outside of house is just about finishing now and so I wanted to
use the last blooms for this week's article.  We have a couple of bushes down by the car port which have been allowed to grow freely, shooting off these lovely long tendrils.  I cut the longest, healthy ones I could find.  I have also used a couple of plants of small leafed Ivy (Hedera) which I always have in stock, as once they have been cut with a little care they will have sprouted new shoots for the next season.

The idea is to make a circular wreath of the Bouganvillea and Ivy which you can make by tying a long piece of ribbon to the stems and winding the ribbon in and out, pulling quite tightly as you start to make the circle.  Bouganvillea does have some nasty thorns along the stem, so it is a good idea to snap or cut these off before you begin to work.

Keep going around adding stems as you go, using the longer ones first and when you get back to  the beginning cut the ribbon and tie tightly.  Then cut some of the Ivy trails and start adding these, wrapping them around the wreath, leaving some shoots to spring out.  This should be a natural style arrangement, not too tight and formal.

There are then a few options of how to display this arrangement which is not very long lasting as the blooms are not in water, if you want to make it up in advance keep it in a shallow bowl of water and take out half an hour before you need it.  Ideal for a dinner party, you can either hang it on the front door to welcomed your guests when they arrive...

...or you can hang it on the wall near to the dining table...

...or you use it as the table centre piece (if you wanted to be the Hostess with the Mostest,you could of course hang it on the door and whilst your guests are sipping their aperitifs, whip it off the front door and put it on the table)!!

Place a glass vase in the centre of the wreath with a candle inside and then take five smaller candles or night-lights around the edge.  Wrap some more Ivy around the smaller candles and scatter some flowers heads on the table.

Enjoy your Fabulous Flowers for this week.

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