On Monday, I mentioned that the bougainvillea in Positano was already blooming and shared a photo of a bright pink variety that I love. It so happens that this is also the Tour Guide’s favorite color of bougainvillea, and he was the one who first pointed out to me how beautiful it is on Capri and in Positano. Well, here’s the story of what happens if you leave me alone for awhile in Positano. You end up with a bougainvillea plant! While the Tour Guide was working, I wandered up the streets of Positano just enjoying the warm weather and being in Positano in the evening for the first time. I noticed a little florist shop across the street and crossed over just to have a look at the flowers.

Bougainvillea from Positano

And there it was! There was a tall bougainvillea plant that was exactly the color the Tour Guide had commented on while we were walking down to Positano earlier that evening. It was a very reasonable price, so within a matter of minutes I was walking up the street carrying a bougainvillea plant that was taller than me. If you ever so happen to need a way to get attention, I highly recommend walking through the streets of Positano carrying a brightly colored plant twice taller than yourself. It was hilarious! I met the Tour Guide (thankfully without his group) around the corner and said, “Buon compleanno!” (“Happy Birthday!”) We both laughed hysterically, and he was so surprised that I had shown up with exactly the color bougainvillea that he wanted in the garden. After laughing all the way to the car, we decided it was a beautiful … and memorable  … birthday present. (His birthday is coming up this weekend!)

Pink Bougainvillea

Now we just had to decide where to put it. Two years ago we bought a bougainvillea plant that ended up being a big disappointment. The color of the flowers ended up being this weird orange color that I’ve never seen anywhere else, and I’ve learned since that I didn’t make the best decision in where I planted it. So this time after a bit more research, we decided to place it in this old stone well in the garden.

Garden Well

I can’t plant it in the central area of the well, because it actually still holds water. I learned that a few winters ago when the lavender I planted in there drowned during an especially rainy season. So now I just fill the well area with colorful annuals that I don’t have to worry about over the winter. There’s a ledge above the well at the back where I’m going to place the bougainvillea once I find a terra cotta pot to plant it in. There’s plenty of sun in this spot, and the other bougainvillea we have in the garden is very happy potted rather than in the soil. I think it will look lovely with its pink flowers filling the area around the well as it grows.

I have a lot of work to do cleaning the weeds that have grown on the walls around the well over the winter, but now I have a very good reason. And I hope to find some pretty pink and white flowers to fill the well this summer, too. I’ll share a photo when the redesigning of the stone well is complete. I hope we’ll have bright blooms each May to celebrate the Tour Guide’s birthday with a smile!

  • Gil

    Your great pictures really do justice to such a beautiful flower!

    May 18, 2011
  • It will look beautiful there Laura. I am now off to enjoy an afternoon of gardening myself.

    May 18, 2011
  • We have lots of bougainvillea in Southern California. I love them, but they are very fussy about where you plant them and it’s hard to guess what they like. But once you locate them in a spot that suits them, they go crazy.

    May 18, 2011
  • Amber

    Fabulous pictures and story.I can just imagine you carrying that big tall plant around. I’ve heard all about weeding that well so it was wonderful to see the results. We miss you!

    May 27, 2011

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