Throughout history, trees have developed a deep and sacred relationship with people. They have played significant roles in many mythological and religious beliefs, as well as cultural traditions, such as The Tree of Life, The Banyan tree in Hinduism, The Tree of Knowledge of Judaism and Christianity and the Bodhi tree of Buddhism. Living in Thailand, I am accustomed to seeing trees adorned with colourful ribbons, wrapped around their trunks. Many Thai people believe that trees, often the old and large ones, are home to spirits and so to keep the spirit calm and happy they deck the tree with ribbons and leave offerings at its roots.
It comes as no surprise to me then that when Tom and I chose a gorgeous Bourgainvillea for our garden from our local nursery, I immediately had a sense that she was special. Different to a spirit actually living in our plant, I believe our beautiful plant has her own innate spirit. The man who worked at the nursery, carried her down the stairs towards us, her blooms cheerfully bouncing up and down at every step and as ‘crazy’ as it may sound for thinking this, she just looked so happy to be coming home with us! Mother Nature certainly works her magic on me.
Once home, awaiting my Bourgea’s arrival, I felt an overwhelming urge to prepare our wild and unruly garden for her. A little like an anxious host awaiting guests, I hacked at overgrown palm leaves, climbed terraces to reach spindly, unleafed branches and shuffled snail-laden pots around…with my six month pregnant tummy! Tom looked on at me like I was a mad woman. (He did of course help though!)
Finally, my beautiful plant has a garden that is fit for her and she is now settled in perfectly just beside the patio door. Here I can admire her whilst sat in the lounge, finally having a well deserved rest! Dylan, my one eyed, rescued street cat, set straight to making her acquaintance, and even though he was a little rough at times (hanging off her branch), I have a funny feeling that my sweet Bourgea didn’t mind.