These lines of the Statler Brothers’ song “Flowers on the Wall” were always enjoyable to hear.
I never thought that more than a half-century later they would be describing my life. But, if you will accept a temporary trellis of brown string covered with vining moonflowers as a wall, it does just that.
Moonflowers, or Ipomoea albas, are a native perineal of Mexico and bloom in the evenings. Their large white blooms stay open until touched by the rays of the sun the next morning.
Along with their large round face, often exceeding six inches in width, they are known for their gentle fragrance.
They are also known for the sometimes astonishing speed of their opening. Though at times, the process takes more than a minute, there are other times they go from conical-shaped bud to open flower in a mere second.
These are the openings that are near magical. And these are the openings that have had me “counting flowers on the wall” the better part of the last two weeks.
We are averaging in excess of two-dozen blooms nightly and have taken to enjoying our evening meal outside and watching the plants.
We have posted numerous pictures on the Facebook page Rick Mansfield. I have tried, with a modicum of success, to capture the magic of their rapid openings.
There seems to be a direct correlation between my cinematography skill and the duration of the individual event.
If I get my camera mode on video and I am ready to go, having successfully selected a blossom indeed ready to pop, that is the flower that exceeds a minute-and-a-half.
On the other hand, if I attempt, unsuccessfully, to a do a “Live Feed” — that is the cone that almost bursts into full bloom in roughly a second!
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We have noticed that the smallest of spiderwebs may impede their fullness. Sometimes it is a nearby petal. Other times, we can find no reason.
Still, all are beautiful and smell heavenly. The wall takes on an almost ethereal presence as dusk turns to darkness.