Poor Audrey

In spite of this area having a fantastic climate for growing things, sometimes there are failures. It might be poor soil, it might be an unfamiliarity with the difference between gardening in Mexico versus gardening in New York, poor sun or too much sun, not enough water or too much. Could also just be bad luck, but this post will discuss my most recent failure.

As you all know, I had wanted a moon garden for years, and set about creating one in the past few months – white flowers more visible in twilight or at night with fragrant perfume. Initially I did not have the malla sombra – a frame with fabric to provide shade – to protect the most delicate ones from the harsh sun, and so about 7 of my plants died.

Once the malla sombra was up, I replaced the dead plants with gray/white succulents and white gardenias. But, the crown jewel for this garden was to be my Queen of the Night (Reina de la Noche) – in my mind, a spectacular flower. Here is what it should have looked like:

Image result for photo queen of the night flower

And so I purchased and planted one of them, tended it carefully and checked to see when flowers would appear. And a few weeks ago, three of them appeared.

I was very happy and hopeful, but at the same time taken aback.  The stems of the flowers were actually growing from the edge of the leaves, and were hanging down like snakes. I had never seen anything like it, and the first thought that came to my mine was Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors.

For those who don’t know the story, Little Shop of Horrors is about a plant (named Audrey II) in a gardening shop and this plant lives on human blood, or eats whole human beings. In any case, seeing these flower buds, I can never get the image of Audrey II out of my  mind, so I have christened my queen “Audrey.”

I observed her every day, talked to her waiting for her magnificent flowers to bloom. And it did seem like they would:

However, today – in spite of the rain, the sunshine, the malla sombra so carefully and lovingly constructed, I found dried up buds, brown with the texture of tissue paper. The stems continue to have good turgor, but I fear the buds themselves are a lost cause…


On a hopeful note, there are still leaves that have not sprouted stems and buds , so I am sure that I will see the beautiful flowers of the Queen eventually.

IMG_4656Just as my bougainvillea appeared to be undeniably dead, yet came back to life with the rain,

IMG_4666I have hopes that Audrey will once again produce buds which will become the flowers that signify her royal name.

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