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Lantana Love

September 30, 2012

I haven’t been writing this week, so no Story-Scribbling Sunday post. Instead, I’m digging deeper and deeper into the picture backlog.

I’ve always had a soft spot for pink-and-yellow lantanas since I had one as a child/teenager. After a couple of years, it got left outside too long and froze to death – I was pretty mad at my mother, although of course it would be fair to ask why I didn’t bring it inside myself.

I was even madder when we couldn’t replace it, since stores only sold a red/orange/yellow variety – even though I looked for years, I could not find a pink-and-yellow one. Not until I started my apprenticeship – at the Apprenticeship place, where I ended up growing my own Lantana tree, with a pink-and-yellow, pure yellow and pure white variety braided together into one trunk. I still have that one, although with my very limited outdoor space, I can’t let it grow as large as I would like.

During the last year of my apprenticeship, we went to Sardinia on holiday, to the place where I spent so many of my childhood summers. On the way home, waiting for the ferry in Olbia, I noticed a huge lantana next to the door of the ticket office, with a much darker pink than I was used to. I immediately fell in love, but with six hours on the ferry and a twelve-hour drive ahead of us in the summer heat, there was no way I could have brought cuttings home alive.

But I dreamed and dreamed of that colour, until this spring – when my boss ordered some pink lantanas along with the red, yellow and white ones we always carry.

At first, it seemed there had been a mix-up, because they looked almost the same as the red/orange variety… but it seems it was a weather thing, because whenever it warmed up, they turned pink. And exactly the lovely dark pink I’d been dreaming of for three years. So of course, despite my lack of space, I had to bring one home.

I didn’t have much luck with it, however – it kept drying out, so it didn’t grow well, and it never was very pink, either. Not sure if that was a weather/temperature thing again, or simply my particular plant, because it was a very uneven variety:

The colour I wanted

In cold weather, I got this.

And the rest of the time, this. No better than the pale pink of the ‘Arlequin’ in my three-variety tree.

But at least it wasn’t as pale as this – yes, and they sell this as the same variety as the first picture!

And now I’ll go work on my book list some more.  Since I have a “What I Grow” page, I’m planning to add a “What I Read” page as well, but it’s a lot of work, involving standing on the dining table to look at the books on the top shelf and tracking down English titles and books I have lent out…

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