SO-CALLED ‘moon flowers’ come in all shapes and sizes, being a generic description most often of flowers that bloom at night.

But there are few more beautiful than Linda McArdle’s Queen of the Night Moon Flower, which is, in fact, one of the many varieties of epiphyllum, also known as the orchid cactus.

Linda’s example is also a plant with an interesting back-story — the best kind.

Two small cuttings were given to Linda several months ago by a friend who was going into a nursing home.

They were once neighbours in Cowes and, when her friend’s moon flower was about to open, she would ring her pals for a ‘moon party.’

As she knew how enamoured Linda was with this event, she kindly passed the cuttings to her.

Linda was amazed at how they took and miraculously, on the night of July 5, her first moon flower opened.

Linda said: “By chance, we had a ready audience as we were decorating a marquee for my daughter’s birthday party the next night — so we had an earlier celebration.”

Since then, the family have had two more moon flowers, two weeks’ apart.

“I am so thrilled I have had such success and can carry on the tradition,” said Linda.

“I have had a compilation of photos framed and have taken it to Kite Hill nursing home, where it is hanging on my friend’s bedroom wall where she can enjoy seeing the beautiful flowers once again.”

Linda was incredibly fortunate to get blooms so quickly — it usually takes at least a couple of years.

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