Friday, 6 August 2010

Simply MAUVELOUS



I rarely visit garden centers with a fixed idea. Instead of finding a desired plant, I just let them find me. In my favourite nursery, there’s always a surprise plant lurking for me when I least expect it. Consequently, about two years ago, strikingly huge flowers caught my eye from afar. I was literally flabbergasted, my body paralysed, my heart skipping some beats. Sighs of ecstasy and utter disbelief swarmed the area. A trolley full of weird container plants with hibiscus-like flowers larger than my head. The extraordinary size of these showy flowers was just phenomenal. Stuck inside the container, a big ID card read the name of NEWBISCUS XXL ‘Mauvelous’, stating the size of 20-30 cm in diameter. Having no idea of what type of hibiscus I was dealing with, I had decided to keep it as a container plant. A month or so after flowering, it started to wilt away, just like any other bulbiferous perennial from the garden;and then finally, completely died off. Or so I thought.

I went back to the nursery and inquired about those ill-mannered Newbiscus plants, hoping to buy another one, perhaps a different color this time. But one of their staff just gave me a weird look, shrugging her shoulders and explaining that all of the remaining Newbiscus plants got some kind of disease which they couldn’t stop and eventually died, so they had to dispose of the whole shipment. Bloody hell, I whispered, it must be a joke or this is the crappiest, dullest Hibiscus specimen ever. Anyhow, the whole idea was unacceptable so I decided to keep the container with the Newbiscus leftovers. It had over-wintered outside, under the shed roof. And then, one day late spring, there was life. Small shoots started to emerge, as if trying to yell out at my recklessness. For the love of God! ❁◕‿◕❁ 
I was still doubtful, but eventually sometime in late July / August the otherwise plain, ordinary shrub started to burst out with flower buds. A week later, I noticed a few passers-by wearing a big ‘what-the-hell’ cloud above their heads and secretly observing the flower heads in disbelief. And awe!!! Therefore, late October last year I decided it was worthy of a special place in my garden so I planted it out, near one of my agey silverpines, which would provide some shade for it’s delicate flowers in the afternoon hours. This year it grew considerably bigger and richer in flower buds and those breathtaking mauve dinner-plates.

For more information, this beauty has a very own official website, providing the present and future carers with plenty of information and photos. I can only add that it is a plant that will lavishly reward even the most negligent gardeners. It has earned the medal of a tough cookie here in continental Croatia, after over-wintering weeks of -20’C temperatures and coming back in late spring. With abundance of water yet no fertilisers, I believe it came out quite mavelous for an untended 2-year old. As with any other hibiscus plants, the flowers are short-lived, especially if battered by savage rain and strong winds during summer storms (which in my case somehow synced with the flowering period continually testing the plant's resilience). But even if each flower only lasts a day, these few weeks of lavish bloom festival are worth the wait. Every bit of it. And you'll be aching to see it again in the spring ...


9 komentari:

Bernie said...

It is quite a beauty ... and what a marvellous story of survival. Such a gorgeous flower.

garden girl said...

Violet my friend! How wonderful to see you posting again. I hope all is well in your world.

That is truly a mauvelous hibiscus! I've been tempted to try a perennial hibiscus in our garden, and hesitate only because I'm not sure there's enough sun here for them to bloom much.

Those blooms are truly amazing, and I'm happy for you that your plant came back from the dead to grace your garden with its gorgeousness.

vrtlarica said...

Hej, welcome back kako bi rekli!
jednom sam posadila hibiskus i nije preĹživio zimu.

Katarina said...

Hi! How nice to find you posting again! Thanks for your comment - the flower on the last shot is a Phlox.

Crazy Garden Lady said...

Violet, you shop for plants the same way I do! The impulse buys always seem more rewarding.

This one is a corker! A flower that colour, the size of one's head is certainly a contender in my garden of the odd and bizarre.

Rowena... said...

Wow oh wow oh wow! Hibiscus that huge and they can overwinter at -20°C?! I am glad to see you back, glad to see such beauty in your garden which has given me the idea to see if these Mauvelous are available in garden centers here. The blooms are absolutely gorgeous.

Hunde Haus said...

OH. MY. GOSH!!

What a simply mauvelous flower!! Isn't it just wonderful when a plant/flower finds you?!

I wonder if I can find that plant here....I will be on the search this coming weekend when I go to a couple of nurseries!

Hunde Haus said...

And I must say, welcome back to the blogging world Violet. You were sorely missed!

www.GardeningExpress.co.uk said...

lovely photos. well done. www.GardeningExpress.co.uk

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