Thursday, August 26, 2010

An outstanding vine

I planted this Eccremocarpus scaber (Chilean glory vine) last year with the intention of it scrambling up a Eucalyptus tree to make it look like the tree had red blossoms all season. While it does this very effectively (several people have asked what that tree with red blooms is), it has also made use of the bamboo growing five feet away (Semiarundinaria fastuosa) to reach for the sky. Hummingbirds visit this vine daily and it was unfazed by the week of subfreezing temperatures this past December. The thing that makes it a real winner is its nonstop blooming -- all in all a great plant.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A sigh of relief

While most of the tropical/subtropical plants loved the 95 degree heat we had last week in Seattle, I noticed a few of my plants were tormented a bit.  Edgeworthia chrysantha (Chinese paper bush), above, and Dicksonia antarctica (Tasmanian tree fern), below, are two examples. They are both relatively new, so had they been more established, I'm sure they would have fared a little better!

A couple plants that can't get enough of the heat are Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii' (Red banana) and Ricinus communis (Castor bean plant). They are now both over 8' tall and still growing! They were both planted in April. I ordered the castor bean seeds off the Internet and planted them directly in the ground.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Taking shape

A 3,000 gallon Koi pond is the focal point of the tropical area of the garden. From left, going clockwise are: Melissa officinalis (Lemon balm), the fronds of Trachycarpus fortunei, Tetrapanax papyrifer (Rice Paper Plant, mostly behind the waterfall), Cupressus sempervirens ‘Glauca’ (Blue Italian Cypress) with Liriope spicata (Lilyturf), Arundo donax (Giant Reed Grass), Agapanthus 'Orientalis', Aspidistra elatior (Cast Iron Plant), Kniphofia 'Shining Sceptre' (stunning when in flower), Nandina 'Firepower' by the pond & Copperleaf Sedge in the foreground.