Sunday, July 15, 2007

The moonies are coming!

Looks like a bumper crop of moonflowers this year. Not familiar with these incredible plants? Here's the lowdown.

To grow some moonflowers, all you have to do is throw the spiky seed pods in the garden around Mother's Day. (For the record, I'm one of those slacker gardeners who loses interest once the temperature and humidity exceeds my embarrassingly low threshhold.)

By mid-July, you'll have clumps of gorgeous greenery on silvery stems. Then a few weeks later, the buds emerge--flauta-sized cylinders holding back their surprising gift to the summertime planet.

When they're ready, one magical night in July or August, the moonflower blooms start to explode. And what blooms they are: iridescent white, saucer-sized, lemon-scented circles of velvet that could bring Georgia O'Keefe back from the dead.

Each flower lasts only about twelve hours before it wilts and fades, eventually falling off and allowing next year's seed pod to form.

One night a few years ago I was out marvelling at the dozen or so flowers as, one after another, they opened with an almost-audible pop. A small toad hopped out from under one of the plants, and then, as if on cue, a luna moth fluttered by.

Talk about a "Witchy Woman" moment.

I love these contrary flowers, defiant and luminous in the middle of a pitch-dark night.

We should all be so daring.

1 comment:

Eric Weslander said...

Just don't eat the seeds.
See article.