Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei ‘Pecos’ is a beautiful tree in bloom. . .when it decides to bloom. It has been at home in my garden for seven years. One bloom in all those years. Full sun, good soil, adequate water – it has all that. Each year I watch for the development of buds, each year I settle for its lovely autumn foliage color. No blooms. Next year will be better, I tell myself, next year it will bloom. I prune back the Arbutus near it to insure Pecos gets all the sun my garden has to offer. But this brings hope – our summers are getting warmer. This year Seattle has had over 40 days with temperatures of 80+ degrees; more sun and heat than I want. Not enough for Pecos, I grumble out-loud.
But this morning while I was gardening, I looked up from the patch of weeds I was chopping and peered into the canopy of Pecos. With sunshine on my face and in my eyes, I saw buds. Lots of swelling, pink buds. Most of its branches sport trusses so close to bursting that I wanted to stand in one spot all day and watch.This is it, I thought. Just give us one more weekend of warm, sunny days and we’ll have success. The buds will open to the strong, clear pink that I saw once before. When these buds open, when this plant blooms, it will be worth the wait. It will be the best of seven.
And it will start all over again next year.