Friday, May 14, 2010

Now the sun is shining, we need to filter some of it!

The venue for the gardening group last weekend was about 6 times the size of my yard, where we last met.  An acre and a half around the house planted with tropical fruit trees on one side, then a section for tropical flowers and another for vegetables.  A lovely creek runs behind the house, and beyond that they have converted the rest of the property back to rainforest - it was a sugar cane farm at one time. 
I was a slight bit envious at all the fruit she is growing, that I just do not have room for, but I love my garden just the way it is and would never want to change it.  Well, of course I do have dreams.......  one of the dreams was to create some sort of pond but the conversation on Saturday made me once again aware of how much work a pond can be.  Then again - they always seem to attract cane toads, so in fact I came away most pleasantly fulfilled and happy with my own little corner of paradise.  I also came away with armloads of cuttings and small plants.  I got a little waylaid and excited when I discovered my new heleconia that I posted about on Monday surprise heleconia. and while in that same area I also discovered a new pawpaw tree. 

 I hope it is the red variety I have been trying to grow, and I hope it is a female.  I met someone on Saturday who had been told you could change the sex of a pawpaw tree by cutting the male flowers off - has anyone heard about that?
Now I have to think about where all my new plants will go.  I have started some bougainvillea cuttings, and we decided to grow bougainvillea against the fence next to the carport.  Since we took the shade cloth down we  have realised that we really do need some shade, and maybe that will be the answer - they don't mind intense sun, will provide shade year round and colour for much of the time. Yes, you are right - the rain seems to have stopped and we have sunshine!  Now I just have to get those cuttings to strike....   I do have one bougainvillea that I grew from a cutting, but I must admit it is the more common cerise one. It has taken off and is already reaching for the sky. 

 These that I got on Saturday are white and orange.

I also got some foxtail palms, (you can see one behind the bougainvillea in the previous photo) so I might plant a few out in the common area near the pool, and maybe give some to friends with more space.  I have been toying with the front area, and trying to make it more defined as an entrance, along with providing the much needed shade. The costus is just lovely at the entrance, with its variegated leaves, and they are so fluffy to touch!

 I had always been thinking of further back against the fence, and then thought I might put in a  little bed where the brickwork ends.  It is the perfect spot to move my cordelines, which have no colour when in the shady part of the back garden.   A few cuttings of  coleus should fill in the lower part of the bed and add colour.  Also a perfect spot to plant that mock orange that was given to me a while back.  The scent wafting over toward the front door should be very pleasant, and another reason to make that entrance more inviting. Voila, another little garden, and I think it might help define the entrance as well as filter some of the harsh morning sun.
The cordelines are looking quite sick and straggly, not sure if I should cut back some of the lower leaves, or just leave them be until they have settled in.  This one was a bright pink when I first got it, and now it just has pink edges to the leaves. 
Hopefully they will all perk up soon, but in the meantime I think the front entrance is looking quite good.


  1. Your front entrance DOES look very nice! I love to hear how other gardeners plan their garden in their minds. Ok, it is not just me! LOL. Sometimes I am a little greedy when coming to get the cuttings, only after I found I might not have that much space to put them :) Happy gardening! Glad the rain stops for you, and we need some of rain now!

  2. Your entrance is quite inviting! I love that variegated costus. Beautiful! My cordylines seem to go in cycles with their coloring. They seem to get their best color in the cooler months, around the same time that they bloom. New leaves sometimes have brighter coloring as well, but it is usually December and January when they are at their best (if we don't have a freeze to tatter them).

  3. Bougainvillea is one of my favorites also. An expert on them once told me they need just five hours of sun per day to produce flower bracts.Good choice!

  4. aloha,

    i love the variegated costus, i have the same plant in the back with my other do you do your bougannvillea cuttings, haven't tried propogating them yet...your ti plant looks a little sad...sometimes i just cut the stalk and seal it so it will force new side growth and you can propogate the top.

  5. Ami,
    thanks, yes the weather is just perfect for us now - the only reason I put up with the heat and humidity in the wet season, is that I know it will be like this the rest of the time.
    Floridagirl, all the cordelines around town are starting to look better as well. They will do better out in the open though as they are more susceptible to bugs than I thought they would be.
    Sanddune, bouganvilla seem to be able to survive drought and full sun, but Noel I am not so sure that those other cuttings have taken. I have heard they are quite hard to start from cuttings, maybe I got a little enthusiastic after my last success. That is exactly what I did yesterday Noel, cut the top off and planted that next to the cutting.

  6. Sounds like you are having fun with your bundle of cuttings. I love the variegated costus.


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