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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hercules the Frangipani Tree

The Husband bought me a frangipani tree. The Husband doesn't do things in halves. Me, I would have bought just a small manageable tree that I was certain would fit through the doorways en route to the roof terrace. The Husband bought instead, Hercules, the frangipani tree. I was afraid, unsure, uncertain and most apprehensive that Hercules would not fit through the doorways but under the watchful eyes of The Husband, and his gentle but strong hands, Hercules came through every doorway unscathed - all 3 metres tall and 2 metres wide of Hercules.

Hercules is a most superior tree in every way, not to be compared to the lesser plants dotting the landscape in our neighbourhood. It is taller than most and has leaves of the most pleasant dark colour. I could tell that it was somewhat apprehensive at the first, with its droopy leaves and hesitant air, but it has since settled in quite nicely into its giant pot, which used to hold what The Husband called "our mosquito of a guava tree".

The man at the nursery told us that Hercules will bear white flowers with a faint tinge of yellow. Though I would have preferred deep red blooms, I refrained from criticizing The Husband's choice. It wouldn't do to have him change his mind about his gift to me, of a tall and handsome tree. And I rather think that colour was the farthest thing from The Husband's mind. "Well, of course it will bloom, my dear" he says. "A frangipani always does, no? That is its job. What is most important is that the tree is strong, healthy and therefore best able to do its job." So, The Husband peruses all the frangipani trees at the nursery with a critical eye, and picks Hercules, the strongest and most healthy looking of the lot.

The Husband looks now upon me with the expectation that I will not only keep dear Hercules alive, but that I will get it to bloom in abundance. And I like that tree so very much that it is exactly what I will do. Hercules gets its leaves sprayed every morning with diluted milk. Hercules gets fed a fertiliser potion with generous proportions of potassium, which as we all know, is what every tree needs to build strong plant cells from roots to stem to leaves to flowers. Hercules' few rust spots are lovingly bathed in a weak solution of tea tree oil and soap flakes. Hercules is a most pampered tree. A 3m by 2m baby of the family.

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