24 Feb2006


by Marketman

I always feel that it’s a nice touch to have fresh flowers on aboug1the table when you’ve invited someone over for a meal or to stay the weekend. This is particularly true when that someone is of my mom’s generation and the standards of hosting are at a more genteel level. But it isn’t always practical or possible to think ahead and you often just have to make do with what you have around you. That was the case a few weekends ago when we had a houseguest at the beach. I decided to snip a few lush blooms from the tons of white bougainvilla plants that surround the property and mass them in small celadon colored bowls…

The result was better than I expected. They looked natural, fresh and bountiful. aboug2They were free and easy to handle and arrange. It may interest you that the vast majority of the “white” flower are in fact leaves that change color… the flower is really very small and visible if you look at the photo closely… that is also true for colored bougainvillas. These cut flowers will last a day at most but that’s okay as you can just go out and clip some more! These white blooms went well with the simple grey and white woven table runners that we used at the lunch table. Longer stems of bougainvilla also worked when placed in tall glass vases that we placed in our living room. So you should never have an excuse for not gussying up your table the next time some guests roll around…



  1. linda says:

    This is simple and yet elegant.You got style, MM.
    And Celadon? It’s beautiful and expensive.

    Feb 24, 2006 | 10:02 am


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  3. Wilson Cariaga says:

    the dark pink ones are the common ones that i always see and arranging them like that would scream India (i think) hehe. . .

    Feb 24, 2006 | 10:22 am

  4. Marketman says:

    linda, celadon color, cheap ceramic. I wouldn’t fill a 600 year old celadon pot with water…heehee. Wilson, I went out of my way to buy just old fashioned white. It took a while to find them. And I told the vendor if even just a hint of pink comes out I will have a nervous breakdown…heeheehee.

    Feb 24, 2006 | 8:06 pm

  5. sha says:

    ah MM i have a huge pot of bougainvilla here on my veranda
    not enough flowers to do a setting like this.

    But at this moment my flat has white and purle orchids, stargazers, tulips and another flower which name somehow slips my brain. I will email u the pic so you can help me name it….

    ELEGANT CHIC indeed!

    Feb 25, 2006 | 7:47 am

  6. Skunkeye says:

    I sorely miss the majestic bougainvilla that crept up our house in Baguio. I have inquired but unfortunately it does not do well in my climate zone here in DC.
    We’ve had a very mild winter – um, global warming… and my daffodils and tulips are already shooting up.

    Feb 27, 2006 | 6:50 am

  7. mia says:

    Snipped off a few bougainvillea blooms off from the bush to use as a centerpiece for our dinner last night. Put them in votive candle holders as I didn’t have small vases. So very pretty! Thanks for the idea! :)

    Feb 27, 2006 | 5:45 pm

  8. Lou Larouche says:

    Here’s what I do with my bougainvillas;
    I individually separate the flowers and scatter them haphazardly in the middle of the dinning table with some decorative pebbles. It gives a nice touch to a dinner setting. This has to be done at the last minute,though, since they kind of wilt fast!!!

    Mar 8, 2006 | 12:55 am

  9. John says:

    I was just wondering if there is anything you can do to make bougainvilla plants flower. Last year we bought a bougainvilla plant from a vendor and it was blooming at that time. Its been a year since and the plant has grown but not a single bloom when i see my neighbor’s lush with flowers.

    Mar 27, 2006 | 9:05 pm

  10. Marketman says:

    John, I am not great in the garden but I was always under the impression (rightly or wrongly) that bougainvillas need full sun and must be treated badly towards the summer months to bloom…by treated badly I mean not constantly watered. Once things start to dry out, then the plant blooms in profusion. Also, the plant is hardy and like to grow in less than perfect soil it seems.

    Mar 27, 2006 | 9:20 pm

  11. John says:

    MM, I’ve been researching a bit on the web after i posted the question to you last night and found comments similar to yours. Thanks so much. I’m going to give it a try and hopefully it won’t be long before i’ll be sending you photos once they start blooming. Again, i really enjoy your site and will be a frequent visitor…

    Mar 28, 2006 | 2:47 pm

  12. John says:

    Hi MM, for the past few months I’ve noticed some trees along some roads that have beautiful small yellow or orange flowers. The trees themselves are quite beautiful, wide and shady. I was hoping you’d know the name of these trees. I think they’re similar to the ones I’ve seen along some of the roads in The Fort and also along some streets in Salcedo Village. I’m thinking of getting a small one for our backyard.

    Mar 31, 2006 | 12:14 pm

  13. Marketman says:

    John, not sure what the trees might be but I do know that the shady (except in summer) trees on the main road in the Fort are fire trees and the really shady ones on McKinley are acacias that have flowers as well… Not sure that helps though…

    Mar 31, 2006 | 4:00 pm

  14. John says:

    MM, every bit of information helps. I’ll go look them up. Btw, the trees i mentioned can also be found along A. H. Lacson Street, right in front of UST (which is very near Dimasalang – just in case you happen to drop by one of these days) I’m persistent, aren’t I? LOL

    Apr 1, 2006 | 11:51 am

  15. Marian says:

    Should the bougainvillas be cut down in the winter. We cut them to about 10 inches and they have grown but not flowered. We water daily, so we will stop. Thank you

    Aug 29, 2006 | 2:18 am

  16. Marketman says:

    Marian, I am not sure where you live but in general, I would not cut the bougainvilla back that much. It needs serious trimming in the tropics but not a buzz cut. Also, bougainvillas tend to bloom when under stress or duress, hence once the plant has botten leafy and healthy, if you cut back on water and let it “suffer” a bit, it tends to bloom rather nicely at that point…at least that is my experience with them and I am by no means a plant person!

    Aug 30, 2006 | 8:02 pm


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