Moonflower: Worth the Wait

Moonflowers – they have been in my family for years. They bloom only at night and some of the blooms can be saucer size. If a full moon is out, these flowers absolutely glow. It’s incredible. They only last one night, then they droop down, until the bloom falls off. It’s kind of sad. They have their one night of glory.

My mom gave me Moonflowers many moons ago (heh). They were planted under the dining room window and bloomed beautifully for several seasons; until I moved from my garden oasis. I kept meaning to get more from her, but never had a spot that I wanted to cultivate at the rented duplex. I knew they would be left again, so why bother.

That’s why last year when I was admiring the many gorgeous blooms at Calloway’s, I notice a lone plant on a table. It had grayish green leaves that I recognized. The Moonflower. I could not BELIEVE it. I had never seen one at a plant store. My mom had them and my second mother-in-law had them. No one knew where they got theirs though. They just were. As far as my mom knew, she had dug them up from a railroad track. My second mother-in-law guessed her husband’s deceased wife had planted theirs. The night he died, every bud flowered. Every single one. So yes, I think she had planted them too.

Last year I planted it at Jason’s, outside the dining room window. The Calloway’s Moonflower grew and bloomed. It was beautiful. I almost killed it giving it TOO much love because I wanted it to do well, so badly. But I didn’t. It bloomed night after night. Then, as winter descended so it did too, into the ground to await spring. However, at springtime, I watched to see what would or wouldn’t come back. Anxiously awaiting the Moonflower, but there was no sign of it.

I was so disappointed! I had seen several large seed pods that went to ground and got rained on. They always came back, always, but it didn’t. No sign at all. Until…..late, late, late spring – well summer (especially in Texas). I saw the leaves and there she was. A baby of a thing, but growing.

I did my obsessive thing – willing it taller and stronger – almost killing it with Rosemary organic spray because some bug was chewing on its leaves. Apparently Moonflowers leaves get burned by Rosemary spray. Oops. I left it alone. I thought it was a goner, and there were no other budding plants in sight. I looked at Colloway’s for a replacement, but not one existed.

I grieved a little. Then a wondrous thing happened.

The plant I almost killed prevailed.

Buds grew.

A bloom appeared.

Awaiting nightfall with great anticipation.

Opening to the night.

Last night was my first Moonflower bloom of the year, and the reason for my feel good Friday post. I don’t know what it is about this flower that means so much to me, but it does. It’s my mom, it’s my step-father-in-law who was a tremendously sweet man, it’s the glowing moon that I adore. It’s the unique rareness. It’s the light in nights. It’s me. It’s my journey to start over. To grow again and again at a new place. To be found, to be treasured…….. to be home.

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