Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Angel's Trumpet

"Hey," said [The Man I Love] this weekend from the windows at the back of the house. "Have you seen your garden outside? Something out there is going crazy!"

Truth be told, it's been a busy week, what with work and dog-walking and veterinary visits. I haven't been in my garden all week, nor have I even looked outside. I went to the bedroom window.

Wow. Look at that!

Years ago, I transplanted a small plant of Brugmansia suaveolens, the Angel's Trumpet, from a clay pot on my deck directly into my garden. There are large, magnificent specimens all over Los Angeles, with their huge bright green leaves and cascades of drooping trumpet-shaped flowers.

The flowers are huge, some six to eight inches long and maybe four inches across at the open throat. They are usually cream-colored, pale banana-yellow, creamsicle-orange, or warm pink. They are related to the Datura family, and like them, can be poisonous if ingested. They are wonderfully scented, and the scent is stronger in the evening.

My plant was small, but when we transplanted it directly into the garden, it began to grow and burgeon, and after two years it was approaching the size of some of those I'd seen.

And then we had a bad winter. It was rainy, and then in January it actually froze - a rare thing in Los Angeles. To make things worse, [The Man I Love] and I were traveling during the Great Freeze. If I'd been here, I might have thought to throw an overnight cover on my tenderest plants. But no. We returned to L.A. to find a devastated garden. The brugmansia, for one, was blackened and limp, even its stem was pulpy and soft and dead.

I think it was sloth more than anything that prevented me from digging up the roots and replacing them with another plant. But in this case, it paid off. Last summer, suddenly green shoots and leaves appeared from the base. It was back.

And this October morning, there it was - tall but spindly, branching out nicely from its crown. Five dangling blooms, in the first vigorous flush of bloom before fading. My brugmansia's flowers are the delicate color of peach ice cream.

These flowers are short-lived. That evening, we sat on the deck and breathed the heady, almost narcotic scent. It was like a last breath of summer.

They won't last long. The cold autumn wind is blowing up later this week.

I would have missed them if [The Man I Love] hadn't brought them to my attention. And he hardly ever thinks about flowers - he just knew I liked them. Isn't he great?


JCK said...

Such a wonderful story of the power of rebirth and never giving up. Yeah to sloth! Or whatever kept you from digging up the roots. And yes, your man, obviously stops to smell the Angel's Trumpet. :0

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

What a beautiful post, g.

Anonymous said...

I think this counts as a view from your window!
Lovely post, g.

Gilly said...

What beautiful flowers! I think I have seen similar things in Greece, but never here, where it is far too cold!

I love the name, Angel's trumpets!

Beverly said...

I think you have a keeper in your guy. My husband just reminded me that our camellias are beginning to bloom. They are along one side of our house, and I almost always forget.

The color of your blooms is so soft and pretty. And, sweet fragrance is an added bonus.

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

They are so pretty and so unique. At my house, it is "the man I love" who is into the garden, flowers etc. I pick some of them out and I plant the pots for the front of the house...but, the rest belongs to him.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

You've got to love flowers that show up late in fall.

We know winter is coming, but we shake our fists at it!

Marilyn - Conroe Tx said...

Thank you for this, I was actually searching for angel trumpets and freezing, my story is the same, I was traveling when we got a freeze, and I come home to a wilted plant, so I guess I will leave it alone and hope to watch it come back around next year.