I pass by this particular combination of colors – Agave and Bromeliads with Bougainvillea – every day, as it grows along the fence of a neighbor. The spiky curves of the pale blue-green Agave and the gentler undulations of the orange and yellow Bromeliads marry together well, with the amorphous mass of purple-pink Bougainvillea adding interesting texture and color to the background.
All these plants grow very well in our tropical climate and also survive long periods without water – important on a dry island like Antigua, which has no fresh water source and depends largely on rainwater for its gardens. In fact, Bougainvillea especially is often at its best after prolonged dry periods, the green leaves giving way to a riot of colored bracts (the flowers themselves being tiny white triple florets in the middle of three bracts).
Some species of Agave are known as “century plant”, as it is in Antigua, which has adopted this as its national plant: the flower grows at the top of a tall stem out of the centre, consisting of a mass of tiny yellow florets which attract humming birds. An agave in flower, surrounded by these tiny, jewel-coloured darting birds is indeed a stunning sight.
Acrylic on canvas