A real taste of hot lazy Summers, Bougainvillea grow freely in hot countries around the Mediterranean, their rich colours smothering walls and balconies in the hot sun. But they also make great Summer plans to right here. The lovely magenta pink variety ‘Alexandra; is one of the more compact and floriferous varieties, and performs well at lower temperatures in Winter too. The colour comes in fact from bracts, not flowers themselves, a little like Christmas poinsettias. The bracts turn brightest Magenta pink in summer. The flower itself is a quite insignificant – a small creamy flower, which looks like the eye of the bracts. These plants have been expertly trained into a standard form, and can easily be maintained this way outside. Although climbers, they are slower growing in the UK. Grow in large pots in full sun, and then in Winter provide Winter protection below 2C. They can lose their bracts suddenly due to stress, so do not be alarmed if they drop – new ones quickly re-appear in warm weather. A real tropical addition to the Summer garden!