The Nietzschian School of Gardening

Eons ago, when we first moved to California, we bought our house. Built in 1924, we bought it from the sixty-something kids of the original owners, the mom having recently passed away. Maintenance and yard work had been neglected for decades. This gave me the opportunity to start fresh with the garden.

Bougainvillea Stem © Harold Davis

Bougainvillea Stem © Harold Davis

After fencing the front yard, which was being used as a neighborhood dog dump, I went down to the local big box home improvement store. The garden section practiced what I think of as the Nietzschian School of Gardening—after the somewhat repugnant German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who said, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”

In the case of the somewhat shriveled and definitely neglected bougainvillea vine I bought at Home Depot, Nietzsche definitely had a point. I’ve neglected it in the twenty years since I planted it at the southwest corner of our house, and our only concern has been to prune it back when it threatens to overrun the entire neighborhood.

To make this image, I clipped a stem from the bougainvillea, brought it inside to photograph it on my light box, and converted the result to LAB color for manipulations, finally converting the image back to RGB to create the master file.

Related image: Bougainvillea Variations.

This entry was posted in Flowers.

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