Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Charm of Bougainvillaea Works!

This beautiful flourish of bright bougainvillaea greeted us this morning as we were headed to Union Street for the last in a series of breakfast-meetings with a potential German client. My “boss,” Marc, for whom I work on a freelance basis, had parked the car one block up on Green Street in a very fortuitous spot right in front of these blooms.

“Pretty flowers,” Marc said, as he inched the car back to fit in between two driveways.

I had a hunch that Marc did not even know what the flowers were called. “Gorgeous bougainvillaea,” I said, grabbing the chance to have the voice of authority. Marc, who is ten years older than me, always wears a clean, crisp, white shirt to all meetings of any kind, which is somehow very reassuring. We get along so well that we should logically get married, but since we are both already happily attached to other people, we keep it professional but chummy. Anyway, this “professional” (and sometimes competitive) friendship that we have works so well, it would really be a shame to spoil it.

“Are they called bougainvillaea because they grow on a villa like that?” Marc asked in his jolly, freewheeling way.

“Umm… probably,” I giggled agreeably.

Being the shutter-bug and photo-a-day enthusiast that I am, of course, I had to take pictures. This particular shade of fuchsia always comes out very vibrant in flowers through my BlackBerry. I never use a filter, (BlackBerry does not have filters like the iphone) nor do I use any of the effects, usually, that BlackBerry does offer. The effects, unfortunately, just do not seem to translate as beautifully as instagram.

Still, the fuchsia/pink and dappled sunlight bursts forth in natural light. The paper-like petals of the bougainvilleae reminds me of the tissue-paper flowers I used to make as a kid in arts and crafts. Fluffing up and then pasting pieces of colored tissue-paper to an art board or whatever was being decorated, we would make dozens of these brightly colored tissue-petals and paste them down to create a gorgeous floral effect.

I showed my bougainvillaea photos to our potential client, and they seemed to like the photos more than anything else we were presenting. They even insisted on walking up to Green Street after our meeting to see the blossoms up close.

Bougainvillaea explodes in swathes of bright color all over the city in the spring and summer months. It is evidently an unstoppable, climbing, flowering vine or shrub of sorts. I have seen it sculpted to arch over an entryway, lighting up an otherwise prosaic garage or front door with fiery color. Also, as a South American plant, bougainvillaea seems to proliferate more dramatically on the sunny side of the street.

Well, to end a perfect sparkler of a Thursday morning, which oddly felt like Friday, in this Memorial Day week, the client decided to go with our presentation! I was surprised. They really did not seem to be very keen on our somewhat offbeat ideas. So, perhaps it had something to do with the bougainvillaea. You never know when it comes to business!


  1. A flowing story! I loved reading this and could picture exactly where you were. Congratulations on the win!

  2. Thanks, Allie! I enjoyed writing this one ~ and yes, we did have fun celebrating the win! :)