I thought I had this flower figured out. A patch of them waves in fairy splender along the wrought iron rail surrounding Marvelous Market on Capitol Hill, resembling not real flowers but a vision of them, perhaps rendered in clay. Like Gumby. The petals are that meaty.
The beauty and frustration of Google is that you can take some whim and compare it to millions upon thousands of possibilities -- words or photos. Which is just what I did here, though I was more successful in finding a flower necklace made of clay than locating the flower I sought.
In a parallel universe I live on a tropical island where pink hibiscus dangle heavy-headed from pina colada trees (and my waist is still 24 inches and the gorgeous--and exceptionally hetero--beach boys keep the guacamole coming).
In the mid-northeast universe I apparently inhabit, I have a grumpy and balding husband who boils artichokes, a coffee machine, and a fifteen year old double pink hibiscus that blossoms once every four or five years.
In this case "once" is a portmanteau word meaning one lousy flower on one random day once in every five years. Or so. Not to mention that hibiscus flowers last but a single day before shriveling to a crepe paperish husk.
Yesterday the hibiscus bloomed. To what do I offer hosannas? I've tried starving and feeding, watering and neglecting, sunning and shading, caring and not.
Not caring is perhaps what brought about this abrupt and unexpected blossoming of a plant left lolling in semi-abandonment in a blistering hot solarium for a week. It was so dry the leaves dangled like shriveled jalapeno peppers, fully a third of them as vividly yellow as the goldenrod now eclipsing the roadsides.
I might even have missed the blessed event had not a sudden climate change brought along such a fine cool breeze that we flung open the windows and in this case the door.
I thought at first the splotch of salmony pink suspended from a branch was a tissue, but then asked myself, as I do, "And where pray tell would that have come from?" (Note: I'm very polite with myself on paper--or keyboard. This is not at all what I actually said...Which began, "What the f...").
So I tip-toed out, squinting without my glasses, and reached with disbelieving fingers to touch a flower already somewhat exhausted with its efforts. Then backed away slowly so as not to frighten it into dead fall, I grabbed my camera from my desk and crept forth again to shoot it. I believe the depth of my emotion is apparent in the photo's slight blur.
And then today came and the hibiscus is downed and the wait begins again.
Here is another example of how sometimes things work and sometimes they just do not.
You will note this pot of coleus and purple wandering Jew marked Exhibit "A". Nice and bushy, yes?
Some weeks back I pinched some sprigs of each from another planter in the garden and stuck them in this umbrella stand in plain soil. They rooted nicely with absolutely no care and have clearly flourished.
The following week I noticed a pot beside the pond (Exhibit B) where good things were no longer in evidence, so I snatched a few more twigs and stuck them in the dirt. Voila. Nice.
Encouraged, I stole a few cuttings from particularly interesting specimen on the way to Harris Teeter. I stuck these in a little glass vase and they're sitting, dense with roots, on the kitchen windowsill.
So then I come across a fabulous window box in Georgetown, filled most splendidly with coleus. And upon returning home I noticed a limpishness about my own boxes, and I thought of the pots and how easy it was to root this stuff, so I plucked and I planted and I even dipped the little stemlets in rooting powder to give them a leg up, as it were. I even watered!!
I would rather be at the beach. I have had not nearly enough of blue water/white sand this year.
On the other hand. The juxtaposition of railings and white flower vine has been worth waiting for, and as it would have peaked right now (which it has) I would have missed SOMETHING had I gone where I usually go this early part of September to float face down in limpid tropical water going OOO yellow fishie! OOOO blue fishie! And so forth...
There was some concern (mine) early on that this display would have been abruptly curtailed during one of the prince's wild flails with the clippers. We are opposites when it comes to rampent, untamed growth. I can't wait to see where it will lead...he wants to whack it into submission.