A Blooming Nuisance

I am getting ready to leave San Jose again until the next time, so I took several pictures of my favorite plant.  I originally planted this Strelizia in a pot on my patio back in 2010. Coincidentally, that is the same year I started this blog and the plant was the inspiration for the blog’s title.

This plant gained added significance last year when it caused me great pain. It had outgrown its pot, so I planned to divide it and put it into two larger pots. I bought a couple of pots at the local hardware store along with some potting soil and fertilizer.

I had all these things on hand when I began the task of repotting the Bird of Paradise. The trouble, I quickly discovered, was that the plant was too heavy for me to lift. I cut open the old plastic pot and tried to cut the plant in half with a small hacksaw, but I got nowhere.

Then it occurred to me that I could, instead, dig a hole in the adjacent planter and just make it part of the landscaping. Strictly speaking, the homeowners’ association does not permit adding to the planters, but I felt as though I was out of options. I tried to dig a hole with a hand trowel but found that the planter was full of impenetrable tree roots. So, I just dug down as far as I could, which was about half of the desired depth.

My roommate came to help me lift the plant from the patio into the hole, and I tried to shore it up with potting soil. When it was as good as it was going to get, my roommate jumped down off the wall, and I did too. . .  except that I was wearing flipflops. Like Humpty Dumpty, I had a bad fall off the wall and wound up in hospital. It’s a long story, but I got a lot of help from my family and I’m OK now.

I didn’t think the plant would survive because I had been told that Strelizias take years to bloom again after they have been replanted. And, of course, my replanting effort was less than stellar. However, to my surprise and delight, this spring it bloomed gloriously. Hence, I took lots of pictures. I couldn’t believe my luck!


And, as a bonus, so far the Homeowners Association hasn’t sent me a Cease and Desist notice, so I think I’m in the clear.


  1. Oh Anne, Of all the Strelizia in Brickyard, yours is the most beautiful specimen by far. No other has been as well cared for as this one and it shows. You have given it your blood sweat and tears as it were and it is gifting you with its beauty. Fair trade? That is between the two of you!

    While you are in the Great North over the next few months, I may well be having my knee replacement replaced. I will not give up and I will heal. I believe this because of what you have been through during the last year and how beautifully you have recuperated. You are my Strelizia, the beauty I will find at the end of my recuperation.

    Hugs, Mary Beth


  2. What a wonderful story — and what a magnificent green thumb you have! I’m glad the Homeowner’s Association has recognized it by not citing you. 🙂

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