With the warm spring weather, my bare frangipani tree is budding. I can’t tell you how excited I am about the advent of these luscious, perfumed blooms.
I’ve wanted a frangipani for years, but my husband isn’t crazy about deciduous trees. “They make a mess with the flowers and leaves they drop,” he complained. “Plus, they’re bare half the year!” I recently learned that there are non-deciduous varieties, so the long wait was pointless.
Our new home came with three established frangipani trees, all of them the deciduous variety. Fortunately, my husband has mellowed with regard to these lovely specimens now that he doesn’t have 1.5 acres to mow every weekend. Plus he’s too busy stopping Luna (our Mini Foxie x Jack Russell pup) from digging up his new turf.
Both of us agree the middle of our giardinetto is the perfect spot for the most advanced of our frangipanis. Its bare branches let the winter sun peep through to warm our little courtyard, and now, as the days are getting warmer and longer, the leaves dapple the light, protecting my plants from the sun and keeping things cool in the house.
The first flowers appeared high in the tree, too high for me to take photos, but when the wind knocked a few loose, Paul gathered them up and surprised me with a “frangitortoise.”
Paul wasn’t impressed when I ‘borrowed’ Frangiturtle’s adornments to put in a bowl to scent the air inside. One sniff of their intoxicating perfume, and I was transported back to Hawaii, where I’d spent a vacation in the 80s.
Huckleberry (our Staffy) found the cast iron tortoise candleholder buried in the ferns a few weeks after we moved here. He’s a lovely addition to our lantern tree. While the frangipani was bare, we hung a variety of little tea light lanterns on the branches. We’ve since changed all of the candles to battery-operated, remote controlled tea lights after overheating a branch.
It’s such a lovely display – like Christmas all year long. Can you see Frangitortoise sitting at the base of the tree?
When our friends Ian and Lisa found out I like frangipanis, they gave me a cutting from theirs, a blood-red variety from the Northern Territory. It will be a lovely addition to my yard – if I can make it strike.
I haven’t ever had much success with cuttings, but three weeks in and so far so good. I haven’t killed it yet. The cutting has even sprouted leaves! Fingers crossed.