From sticks to a flowering fence

Yellow explosionWalking in San Isidro de Heredia one day, my companion and I were accosted by a broken branch hanging down over the sidewalk. We broke it off so no one else would be attacked by it and kept the branch, intending to throw it somewhere. However, when we looked up, we noticed enormous yellow flowers covering the mother plant we had just pruned so judiciously. Since the landscaping at my home at the time consisted of a little grass and a lot of weeds, I decided to take the branch home to plant – just in case something would happen. I stripped off the leaves and cut a couple pieces about 12 inches long and stuck them in the ground in the corner of the yard near the fence. Before long, little leaves started appearing on the bare sticks. The sticks grew and branches started growing with more leaves. Today, the plant covers about 35 feet of fence horizontally and over 5 feet vertically – it reaches for the sky and the wires overhead. Its growth has been limited only by the neighbor’s discreet pruning (guess she’s not a plant lover) or by people walking by breaking off branches for their own gardens. Children are attracted to the enormous flowers and often pick them while walking by on their way home from school. I have no idea what the plant’s name is, but it has been a delight for birds, children, passersby and me!  (Lush gardens abound at this home.)

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