Gardening at Sunrise
Since the "Rainforest Garden" is thirty minutes away at my mom's house, I have never seen it at sunrise, instead relying on my mom's descriptions of the experience. Can you imagine seeing your garden in a whole new light? Literally? (Disclaimer: photos were taken with my phone on short notice. It did pretty well with low light levels though.)
Some of the first botanical friends to greet me were the morning glories, bright eyed, bushy tailed, and ready to strangle the garden alive. I've always dreaded the sight of morning glories since they tend to put a choke hold on the gingers and cannas despite their cheerful dispositions, but my mom's mornings are brightened by the sight of them through her window. Since that was why I started the garden to begin with, I suppose they'll stay.
After dodging doggy deposited land mines on the way to the front yard, I took a peek at my blooming Nidularium rutilans under the oak tree.
The courtyard garden has been dry lately, but that hasn't discouraged established plants like the bottlebrush and blood lily from blooming. These bromeliads can handle drought, but I have to flush out the cups so the water doesn't become stagnant and cause vase rot. I hate vase rot. Speaking of vases...
The blooms don't even end when I step back inside! We always have some cut flowers to enjoy up close. My mom made a nice arrangement with three reed stem epidendrums in vases stuffed with fig leaves, and promptly discovered that she was allergic to the milky latex that seeped from the cut leaves. The second arrangement was just a medley of different blooms around the garden at the time. Liatris, callas, Aechmea gamosepala and others were grouped together on a nothing more than a whim the other day. Flowers were meant to be enjoyed!
From inside, I watched gulf frittilary butterflies scout out passionflower vines to lay eggs on. They always try to rear their offspring at the tips of each vine so the caterpillars will have young growth to munch on. Sometimes the butterflies are deterred by what looks like a prior visitors eggs, but are in fact decoys that the vine produces to deter the butterflies! Isn't life grand?
Meanwhile, back home on the balcony, plenty interesting things are happening.
I'm starting lots of new plants in used takeout trays via seedlings and cuttings. They're excellent for keeping the medium moist until growth has begun, and they stack easily while you're waiting for something to happen. You can see Tipuana tipu and Tabebuia seedlings sprouting in one tray, and behind it are some vigorously growing orangeberry and starfruit seedlings. The other pots contain Crinum moorei and what I think is the offset of a spear lily.
These plastic trays are also nice for rooting rhipsalis cuttings to go in my Rainforest Drops! This specimen has established itself by now and is putting out roots all willy-nilly in the humid summer air. I've found that when I start small cuttings in the takeout trays with sphagnum, they get a head start before growing in the rainforest drop.
My balcony is my garden, just like the garden at my mom's house. I love to start the day with watering can in hand, visiting each plant one by one like a hummingbird. Gardening on my balcony in the morning is similar to gardening at my mom's house, except the singing birds are replaced by scurrying lizards, and there are no purple trees. With luck, in a few years my little seedlings will be trees too.