Right around Memorial Day, LA emits this otherworldly purple glow. The jacarandas bloom and give way to June Gloom, I thought as I was walking home yesterday, spotting sprays of lavender splotched randomly like graffiti tagging the hillsides. It’s LA’s purple rain, I laughed (yes, this is how I entertain myself while walking around town). But wait, I thought, I wrote all this about jacarandas already, didn’t I?
Didn’t I? I searched my blog a year ago. No. I searched one of the other blogs I had written for in May for the past few years, in the off-chance I had been able to tie a post about purple trees to some pithy statement about effective landscape design (hey, they’re drought-tolerant; it might have worked). Nope. I conducted a full-scale Spotlight search on my computer: JACARANDA. Nothing came up.
It wasn’t until I was searching for an old email today that I remembered: I had created a series of captioned photos and published it to a .Mac page. In 2005. A .Mac page! How quaint!
But because I was so thrilled to rediscover it, I’ve reproduced the entire page’s content below. Remember, it was written in 2005, when I was barely a writer. However, it certainly conveys the way I feel about those jacarandas. Even today.
Jacarandas are desert-dwelling trees with delicate fern-like foliage.
For about three weeks in spring, they explode in hot lilac trumpets.
Providing summer shade and lovely texture, they’re perfect for yards.
But in LA, you’re more likely to find them lining the streets.
Jacarandas are huge.
You’ll never notice them the rest of the year.
But right about now, they seem to be everywhere you look.
The slightest bit of wind triggers a shower of blossoms.
If one falls on your head, it is said to be good luck.
They cover the sidewalks.
They cover steps.
They cover streets.
They make entire blocks feel like walking on rubber.
And yards look like they never cleaned up after a surprise party.
But in LA’s super-steady climate, it’s one of our only signs of summer.
And it’s the closest most of us will ever get to snowfall.