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Disaster struck (the story of the overgrown Bougainvillea)

We’ve had our fair share of stormy weather, but this was not a weather related incident. This was all about the Bougainvillea deciding it had enough of being trained up a trellis, growing thick and powerful and then planning its escape …

Before … a happy space to while away the day

A happy space

When I bought this house there was  sort of mirror mosaic on the wall which we were not fond of. But I respect the “Feng-shei”-iness I suspect was behind this placement and design so was reluctant to rip it off the wall. A solution was a trellis for the two Bougainvillea to be trained up and over, which not only covered the ‘mirror art’, but the plants would eventually be trained to ‘tumble’ over the garage roof (which is right behind this wall). So that’s what I did and the Bougainvillea grew and grew. And They Grew!

18 Months later …

[one_half]Here’s how we were growing …Here's how we were growing ...[/one_half]

[one_half_last]After the collapse …After the collapse ...[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Most of the Bougainvillea removedMost of the Bougainvillea removed[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Look at them thorns!Look at them thorns![/one_half_last]

[one_half]They attacked me as I cut it awayThey attacked me as I cut it away[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Revenge of the Bougainvillea – thornsRevenge of the Bougainvillea - thorns[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Sans Bougainvillea …Sans Bougainvillea ...[/one_half]

[one_half_last]before: Avec BougainvilleaBefiore: Avec Bougainvillea[/one_half_last]

So there it is. Back to the ugly wall now waiting for a less aggressive creeper to be planted because I don’t want another fight with a Thorny B. And I think as soon as the weather is better, its time to “re-do” this bed. It could use an overhaul. Come on Spring …

Happy gardening … or if you are in South Africa, beware the storms predicted this weekend and stay warm!



By Christine

Dominated by large trees on a medium sized property, my garden is very shaded. With no “full sun” areas I have to plant shade and partial shade loving plants. I love shrubs and flowers including camellias and azaleas but Roses and Irises are my favourite and getting these to thrive is a challenge …

9 replies on “Disaster struck (the story of the overgrown Bougainvillea)”

I am both happy and sad that bougainvilleas don’t winter over here. I think they are just lovely, but when they get overgrown, they can get out of control. And the thorns! Ouch! I do love the area with greenery grown up on the wall there. If you can find it, a crossvine (bignonia capreolata) is a beautiful blooming evergreen vine that is thornless – and the hummingbirds love it! Of course, jasmine would also be a nice vine to train there. Gosh – don’t you just love new places? So many choices!

After living with and attempting to control a monster of a Bougainvillea in my last garden, I swore I’d never have another one. When we found this place, there was a Bougie growing on the fence line here, but thankfully it’s a poor spot in the garden and the Bougie has remained under control. I just hate pruning those things! Sorry to see you had a disaster with yours, as I know just how much pain you probably endured chopping it down. I’d go with Jasmine to replace the old Bougie. Imagine the perfume as you sit back relaxing in that little corner of your garden.

Hi Alan – I thought of annual vines, but its not the easiest spot to get to, so cleaning up and replacing it every year is going to be quite a hassle – which is why I think I need to get something fairly permanent – hence the jasmine idea.

Yooouch! Those thorns look nasty! I think this is the only reason I don’t have them in my garden. I can barely accept the rose thorns!
Bougainvillea looks nice in other people’s gardens! 🙂
Loved the fun post!

Hi Barbie – you are SO right – Bougainvillea are beautiful in other people’s gardens, and there are plenty in my neighbourhood to admire from afar :).

You live and learn …

We had a bougainvillea in Camps Bay. Somehow it became the too much water, green, no flowers type. Altho WE never watered it. Planted next to the stairs between garage and front door. Big mistake, constant battle, good riddance.

Jasmine or clematis? Indigenous, or gardenous?

Hi Diana – mine too; all green, hardly any flowers, aggressive and … pompous!

I’m thinking Jasmine. Perhaps indigeneous but possibly polyanthum. Its waterwise, easy, grows on the opposite wall so would tie in the two beds and can also be persuaded to ‘tumble’ over the garage roof. I’m still deciding though.

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