Recently I read, one Saturday morning, in the Glasgow Herald, about a plant in the Glasgow Botanic Gardens which only flowered once every twenty years or so and whose flowers only lasted for a couple of weeks. I thought to myself, I think I’ll take a trip to Glasgow tomorrow and take my camera. The following day it was a horrid day! Driving rain hammering against the window panes. I could tell it was cold, damp and miserable outside. A trip today? A photographic trip? Was I mad? Could I be bothered? Right, I told myself, get yourself ready and take the car (not many trains or buses to Glasgow on a Sunday I’m afraid!). Driving through I ended up in long queues of slow moving traffic. Was everyone going to see this plant? (well, no, it turned out there was a big football match on in Glasgow and I guess most other people were going shopping….) Finally I got to near the Botanic Gardens, and got parked in a single space right opposite the back gates. In fact, I couldn’t see another parking space even remotely close, so the fact this space was here felt auspicious. There wasn’t much point trying to use an umbrella. It would’ve been destroyed within minutes, so I tucked my camera under my jacket, zipped up to my chin, got my head down and ploughed through the rain into the gardens. It was at this point I realised I hadn’t a clue where the plant I wanted to see was growing. The first glass house I came to was the Kibble Palace, a beautiful old glasshouse totally refurbished in recent years. I wandered around in the nice dry, bright atmosphere, taking photos of some very interesting looking plants, but no sign of the one I had especially come to photograph. At the front door I looked up the path and saw the more modern glasshouses at the top of the hill. The first one I walked round wasn’t the one with the elusive plant either, and neither was the second one, but the third one! Wow! Look what I saw!
Have you ever seen a plant like this? Have you ever seen petals this colour?
And here’s the interesting final thought……it’s pretty likely I’ll never have an opportunity to see this plant in flower again in my lifetime.
Seize the day.
PS the name of the plant? Puya alpestris.