Revenge of the Crape Myrtle

I’d just moved into a new house. The yard was a mess when I bought the place and I put in a lot of time leveling dirt and rocks left over from a septic re-do, sowing new grass and yanking up dried-up azaleas and rotting railroad ties. After days of effort and some pretty sore muscles, it was starting to look pretty good. But there was a spot in the front that needed a big plant and I wanted to fill it with a pale, whisper-pink crape myrtle like the towering beauty I’d had at my old home.

So, not one to wait once I decided to do something,  I drove to a local plant nursery and searched the aisles.  It was a little early in the season and the young crape myrtles on display had no blossoms on them yet. I asked the salesman if any of the plants would have pale pink blooms.

“Yes,” he replied. “I have pink ones and deep red ones. “I want pale pink,” I advised him. “Yes, these are light pink,” he said. So, after scrutinizing them,  I selected a promising-looking one and carefully planted it in my front yard, then waited eagerly for the pale pink blooms to emerge.

A few weeks later, the anticipated day finally arrived and the buds started unfurling. The blossoms were pink all right. But they didn’t whisper – they shouted “Look at me!” at the top of their lungs, in the brightest bubble gum pink I’d ever seen! This was nothing like the delicate pink crape myrtle that I’d loved so much.

I’ve never really liked bright pink. And as fate would have it, the home I now lived in and, amazingly, the one before it, although perfect in every other way, both came with bright pink carpets, pink blinds and pink walls–one even had a hot pink ceiling fan. All of which I had to re-do!

So, after a couple seasons of trying to get used to this disappointingly garish crape myrtle, I finally gave up and pulled it up by the roots, replacing it with a deep, dignified watermelon red one. And this time I made sure the new plant was blooming before I bought it!

But the stubborn pink plant I uprooted refused to die. I couldn’t believe my eyes! The thing must’ve had some surreptitious little rootlets lurking underground and it sent up defiant shoots until it overtook my melon red replacement, crowding it out in a gaudy exultation of pink revenge!

It’s still there. An obnoxiously healthy riot of towering, bright, victorious PINK. I decided if it wanted to live that badly, I should let it.

But if I look real close, I can see a twig or two with watermelon red blossoms in the middle of the plant…

crape myrtle cropt


About boomergirl47

Retired from the University of South Florida. Love reading, writing, hiking, nature, music, birding, puttering around the house and yard.
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