Death of a Bougainvillea

Three trips to the dump later…that wretched plant is out of the yard. That was Cadillac’s weekend, putting the plant on the trailer he borrowed from his dad.

The bougainvillea is the devil plant. Thorns EVERYWHERE, some three inches long. Paper flower leaves.

An old-timey neighbor stopped by. “They’ve cut down that plant at least five times,” he said. “It always comes back.”

It *always* comes back.

I’m sort of afraid it will grow into the middle of the night, creep into the house, and eat us.

Then the man told Cadillac how Cadillac was doing it wrong, and how he would have done it. Um, number one: his idea was to cut it down the middle like it was solid, but it would not have worked. And two: If you thought you knew of a better way to do it, come over when you see him starting the project. Dude. Armchair quarterback much? Poor Cadillac looks like he was dropped into a Roman arena with a bunch of stray cats. He’s got scratches all over him.

Pictured below is what’s left. That is some kind of fern in front of it. The next step is to cut the trunks down to three inch stumps, then drill into them and apply a powerful herbicide. Repeat if new growth appears. If a growing season passes with no growth, dig out the dead stumps (I looked it up on some university’s agriculture website).



See how tall these stumps are?


And here’s the valve that broke on the sprinkler system, the one on the left. Pipes are supposed to be buried six inches underground. This system goes around the whole house and I think it’s two inches deep, at best. We are just going to hand-water and go for a lower maintenance yard.


Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

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