Tiny flowers appear amongst brightly coloured bracts.

Strong, hot colours have always been associated with the older, larger forms of bougainvillea but smaller Bambinos have a wide range of colours, including pastels.

Bougainvillea adorning a lych gate.

The smaller varieties are adaptable to a wide range of uses, and more importantly suit the scale of smaller gardens.

A boldly coloured boug makes a great focal point spilling over a a plinth in the the Coulton’s garden, Goondiwindi.

The rules are simple:

  • If you can’t devote much time in your garden then boungainvilleas in pots or baskets can be spectacular – i.e. minimum effort and maximum effect!
  • Shaping, or pruning the plant from when it’s young will pay dividends.
  • Prune after flowering.
  • Give large plants a strong, easy care support frame as you won’t want to tackle the thorns to maintain the structure.
  • For Bambinos, trim water shoots to keep plants compact.

In winter when some trees are in their quiet, leafless mode bougainvilleas add a bright note.

Remember that different colours flower at slightly different times, so keep the rhythmn and pattern of colours in mind for planting on a fence, or as a hedge.

Planted en masse – they make a striking impact.

If you have a ‘wild garden’ then this may be OK… otherwise, it’s definitely a good idea to trim early and trim often!

Bougainvilleas trained along the walkway at Southbank, Brisbane

At Tall Trees, Mt Nathan: bougs with different traits – some weeping and others head skyward.

Darriveen, Longreach: lots of colour in early winter

Bougs are good for dry climates – they don’t need too much water, and like good drainage.

Zulu and Panda in Kim’s Norman Park Garden: two favourite Bambinos

Stairway, St Lucia: bougs happy in difficult growing conditions

logoSometimes it’s difficult to find bambinos – Vanderlay Nursery in northern NSW have a good range and supply.

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