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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wacky Wednesday #63—Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea is a divisive subject—up there with religion and politics.

Well, maybe not quite as controversial as those two, but nearly.

Some people love it. But those who don’t like it really don’t like it.

People who have had to remove a wall of bougainvillea from a house don’t feel sentimental about it. One guy in particular has no fond memories of the long, sharp thorns growing off the wall of bougainvillea he once removed. Thorns draw blood. Scrapes heal but one doesn’t forget those thorns.

But let’s get back to the present. This week’s theme is bougainvillea, and if we set aside its tendency to draw blood, it’s a beautiful plant worth celebrating.

Wearing flowers as decoration is not my invention, of course. Hawaiians wear them all the time. Balinese headdresses can include flowers. I love the cultural costumes that are an explosion of color. I hadn’t seen anyone wear bougainvillea and since it is such a joyful splash of color, I decided to use it as an accessory today. I made a birdcage-shaped beehive hat from pipe cleaners, and hot glued felt petals onto it, and then added some real bougainvillea to that. Same for my necklace.

Bougainvillea comes in various shades, as you probably know. Subtlety isn’t my thing, so I like the really bright ones best. I love how this plant produces a canopy of color, easily seen from long distances. It’s bold! It’s bright! It’s a burst of cheer, and it brings beauty to its surroundings.
This is the pipe cleaner structure I made for my beehive, in progress.
Here's the beehive completed.
Like the colorful leaves of poinsettia (Wacky Wednesday theme #37), bougainvillea’s magenta "flowers "are actually leaves. The flower itself is a tiny white bloom, but the bright leaves look like flowers to me.

If you’ve read my blog before you know that I get giddy by making an outfit for free, or close to it. Here’s the breakdown on what this week’s costume set me back:


Tank top and skirt (already had)                       $     0

Real bougainvillea from our yard                     $     0

Felt for fabric bougainvillea                              $1.17

Pipe cleaners for bougainvillea beehive        $  .60

Hot glue sticks                                                    $  .50


TOTAL                                                                   $2.27

True, I didn’t make a dress from scratch, as I’ve done at times. But for me, the fun of this week’s look was in constructing a bougainvillea beehive. It’s delightful to wear something large and unexpected on my head and making my beehive was major fun. I like how my hair (purple this week, with highlights of bougainvillea magenta) even blends into the ‘hive. Coincidence? You decide.


  1. WOW! I like the bright ones best too. I'm so stoked you made bougainvillea into a costume! <3

    1. Kimster, thanks, friend! This color would look great on you, too...

  2. I didn't like bougainvillea (and I can only spell it correctly by copying and pasting from your text above), but now I like it because of your beautiful creation!

  3. Mara! Oh, wow. I'm glad that you see its positives now. But even though you now like it, don't go hugging bougainvillea. Thorns, you know. Love it with your eyes!

  4. Grandmim, and Granddad, always had bunches and bunches, and trails and trails, of bright pink bougainvillea, running above the small patio area, in the back yard, in our home where we grew up. I remember seeing it as a child, at our back yard birthday parties. So colorful, and welcoming, to those seeing it. It became like an old friend, and was familiar, as the years passed, and even with patio remodeling, there was always some of, it, somewhere in the yard. I'm so glad it stayed with, us, through the years. Thanks, Sarah, for bringing back that memory. Love, Aunt Eileen

    1. Hi Aunt Eileen, thanks for sharing that memory. I think it's a beautiful plant...