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A Brugmansia Grows in Boston

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On my last trip to Boston, I passed by this church, and as pretty as it was, I was more transfixed by the two Brugmansia plants potted at its entrance. More commonly known as Angels’ trumpets, these are tropical plants that don’t survive the cold New England winters, but can be brought into a warm garage or unheated basement for the winter months, then brought back out to create the amazing show that is seen here. I once kept a couple of these, in enormous pots, that grew to be about seven feet tall. When they bloomed in summer, their fragrance filled the night – the variety I had gave off a heavy lily-like lemon scent that pervaded the entire backyard. It was especially nice for late-night swims, when the perfume seemed to cling to the water’s surface. I got lazy one year and left them outside in the winter (those pots, and the attendant tree-like trunks that they eventually develop, were not easy to move up and down stairs) so we no longer have any, but I’m tempted to try them again. It takes a year or two to develop them into the tall specimens you see in this photo, but it’s a wait that’s worth it.

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