Sun caught in the leaves of Vriecantarea "Inferno", which is only now finishing its bloom cycle.
The garden is looking great and just about everything is coming back to life! Above is my big Vriecantarea "Inferno", which is supposedly hardy but got some protection anyway. I bought it in mid-October with a full flower spike and its been blooming ever since. Its a bigeneric hybrid between vriesea and alcantarea, the alcantarea parent accounting for the large size and huge branched flower spike.
My Coral Reef Succulent Container so far...
I have no idea what this cactus is, but I got it for my coral reef themed container garden because it looks like a sea urchin test.
I found a cool cactus for a song earlier in the month and planted it in the coral reef themed garden. I've never seen a purple cactus before, and the patterning looks like batik. If you look at the flowerbuds, they even look like fish scales, further contributing to the unlikely theme.
My other plans for this container garden include using a "Sticks on Fire" plant, also known as pencil cactus or just Euphorbia Tirucalli for a coral like backdrop. Accompanying it will be a cultivar of a snake plant I've seen that has wider leaves and purple margins, looking much like seaweed. There are many other succulents that have the look of coral, like crassulas (flapjack plant) with orange margined leaves, bright orange jellybean plants, some wicked looking grafted cacti with wavy crenulated forms and of course, there are lots of great dyckia to look out for.
Do you guys know of any neat plants for this look?
Spring has arrived!
The azalea hedge under the front window is starting to wake up!
Carpets of Moss!
The remains of tropical birds nest ferns from last winter are perfect hosts for moss!
If I had it my way, the lawn would be made of moss instead of grass! Its luxuriantly soft, makes ordinary branches and rocks glow like gemstones, and is a great way to have that "rainforest" look I'm always talking about. I want to let it grow up the trunks of my bottlebrushes and tabebuias, but I'm not sure if they can take the moisture like my hollies and bald cypress can. Any ideas?
Mosses and lichen on my dahoon holly
Canna Edulis returning from the roots. This is not a hybrid but the original species which is grown as a starch crop. I started mine from seed Last spring and they flowered that summer!
This winter seemed so devastating that I seriously wondered if my plants would recover at all! So far I have no signs of life on the firebush and firespike, but I've heard that those are some of the last to rebound. My plumeria was found to be rotting at the base so I had to chop it down and lay it in the ground since the majority of the trunk was firm. I might get another one before i wait to see if that one recovered.
The good news is that my white jacobinia (plume flower) is already returning, as well as the princess flower (tibouchina) and tropical butterfly weed! As I've mentioned in previous posts, the tabebuia is putting out new growth with a vengeance and the chamaedorea cataractum is even suckering from the base. The most exciting thing is seeing the gingers and elephant ears coming back from the ground, since they make up the bulk of my color in warmer months.
This christmas cactus discovered under a light cover of pine needles survived the cold.
Plans for the Wannabe Balinese Courtyard
I'm planting some edibles like basil and peppers in the front of the garden, but making sure to execute it in an ornamental way. I've already planted a loquat to the right side of the front garden and will plant an alocasia, pineapple guava and lady palm behind it to form a dense screen that still allows for fruit collection, since the alocasia will be less overgrown when the loquats ripen in early spring.. In front of the loquat I'm making a stark contrast with more white rock that will give the eye a place to rest and sets off the surrounding colors.
I'm still going to make those balinese style birdhouses and lanterns, but am still studying the architecture a bit more first.
Well, that was my boring rundown of the goings on at the beginning of spring. I'll show you pictures of my projects!