Once upon a time, there was a little twig. I plucked it from its mother bush late in August in 2012. You could say I rescued it because the mother bush was in an industrial area of Rotterdam where it probably wasn't going to survive very long.
The twig came home with me and spent some time bathing in a jar of water. As soon as it'd had a really good soak, I put it in a very small pot with some nice fresh potting soil. It sat there for a while looking a bit miserable and twiggy until one day, I noticed a tiny green bud growing. This made me very excited and I nursed my twig lovingly until it grew three or four small leaves.
But then winter came. Now somewhere in its memory bark my twig knew that it wasn't just a twig, but a proper bush and it had to do what proper bushes did in the winter. It dropped all its leaves and went back to looking like a sad little twig. I put it on a shelf and left it alone for the winter.
Spring came round and I took my twig off the shelf and put it in the window to catch some sun. I watered it and watched it and lo and behold, the leaves started growing again. They sprouted with the fresh green of youth and looked so vivid, I knew my twig was going to grow into a beautiful bush like this one.
|A fully fledged twig that I think is a Hibiscus bush|
I watched my twig carefully, and when the weather warmed up some more I put it in a larger pot with some new soil and put it outside with the other pots, where it grew quite happily for a while. But then quite suddenly, all its leaves dropped off again. Worried for the health of my twig, I took it inside yet again and nursed it back to leafhood.
Eventually, I was rewarded when earlier in August, I found this beautiful bud. At first, it was tiny, but I watched it grow, and eventually, I risked putting it outside again.
The weather was warm and sunny, the skies were blue. It was all just perfect to encourage the bud on my twig to develop into a gorgeous delicate flower.
It stayed open like this for several days, but now alas, it seems to be closing again. Maybe it's still a rather young twig and shouldn't be flaunting itself too long just yet. When the colder weather comes, I'll take it inside again; I'll nurture it through the winter and hope that next year, my twig will get some stronger bones and want to mix it with the other bushes in my garden. I hope so. This twig has been loved and cared for, but now it must grow up and stand on its own roots.