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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Purple Petunia

I don't know why but my Purple Petunia looks blue. In reality though, if you came to my garden and took it in with your eyes, you would see a rich and royal purple. The sort of purple that is deep and mysterious... the sort that scions of the de Medici family wore to balls to show off that they could afford the expensive dye made from the hypobranchial gland of a marine snail... the sort that reeks of medieval opulence, princely seduction and royal debaucherie. It is a sinful colour that adds a touch of the gothic to my otherwise bright and cheerful garden filled with whites and yellows.

I love it - this rich and corrupt purple.

I set eyes on my first pot last year and was mesmerized. Hardly knowing what I was walking through or trampling upon, I made a beeline to the pot of Purple Petunia. It was crush at first sight. Anyway, I carted home the pot intending it for my friend's housewarming. I was quite overjoyed when Lili refused to take the plant because simply, she doesn't grow plants. Well and good, I thought to myself and I kept that little pot of princely seduction for myself. Like all petunias do after some time, it started to wither and die away. I sowed its seeds in 3 new pots. They sent out shoots and leaves and now have grown into 3 cascades of purple flowers propped up by green leaves. Petunias don't breed true to colour. I was really blessed to have 3 pots breed true. I shall now go out and buy 3 more hanging pots so as to sow another three pots of purple petunias, thereby causing a further proliferation of sinful debaucherie in my garden.

I don't know why I like the Purple Petunia quite so much. First, I can't eat it. Second, it isn't a colour I would normally even wear, I who prefer whites and blues and browns. It isn't a colour I would choose for drapes or bedsheets. Too strong. Too opulent. Too showy. But in my garden, I can be who I am not, and live the life of a degenerate Princess through the blooms of my Purple Petunia.

3 comments:

M said...

Nice evocative little piece, PetuniaLee. I may never look upon a pot of purple petunias in the same way again. One wonders what scandals you might conjecture had it been a scarlet red that caught your fancy instead. :)

Blur Ting said...

I love petunias too and loved them so much at one point, we kept buying only to see them grow straggly and die soon after.

I think location is everything. My son's tuition teacher grows them in a partially shaded spot in her pavilion and they thrive all year round. So gorgeous like a big round bouquet.

petunialee said...

M, scarlet red is Chinese New Year! It evokes the huge family pile-up, incessant chatter and eat till I pop!

Blur Ting, yeah... those from the nurseries always do that - grow straggly and die. Those grown from seed seem to do much better. But Petunias are fussy (like me!). Too hot cannot. Too wet cannot. No sun cannot and not enough water, cannot!! Only the Purple Petunia seems to be worth all that pampering. Heh!