Friday, November 25, 2011

an Haworthia

flower detail
Haworthias are an interesting genus of small succulents from South Africa and some of the miniature species which have glassy "window" type leaves make interesting pot plants, ideally suited to growing in a bonsai type container and displayed on a table top. The window type leaves are an adaptation to their environment. If surrounded by larger plants, such as grasses which may limit their growth potential; maximum sunlight is able to penetrate into the inside layer of the plants skin and thus produce more food for the plant. Haworthias also have contractile roots which draw the plants back into the soil during extended dry spells.They are not commonly available but specialist succulent nurseries always have some of these fascinating and very collectible plants for sale.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nerium oleander 'Ruby Embers'

The Oleanders introduced to the garden world in the late 1980's and early 90's by the Monrovia Nursery Company of Azusa, California are noted for their exceptional flower production and almost neon, iridescent fluorescent flowers. They were also selected for their suitability for growing in smaller gardens and many only reach a couple of metres in height making them ideal for use as hedges or for screening, while not growing into the tree like specimens often seen in older gardens. In Australia, the label 'Monrovia Red' has been attached to plants of this type or they are sold under the trade marked name of 'Ruby Embers' which has the namesake 'Ruby Lace' in the U.S.
2017 update: I am currently out of stock of this variety.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Aechmea nudicaulis var.

Golden leafed form of Aechmea nudicaulis
Just coming into flower this Bromeliad is quite impressive.I grow it in a spot which gets sun for most of the day with other heat loving plants such as a Croton and Crassula 'Hummel's Sunset'.
2017 update: I have limited stock available.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Nicotiana sylvestris, night scented tobacco

Towering into the evening sky, the night scented tobacco is certainly a statement maker in the garden with its large lime coloured leaves and elegant drooping white flowers. I grew this from seed planted months ago . The seed incidentally is like dust so you end up with a pot of crowded tiny plants which are difficult to separate into individuals for potting on. The seedlings also sulk in a pot with leaves turning yellow and looking very unhealthy indeed. Once planted in the garden, growth is fairly rapid with the lower leaves forming a rosette over the ground while upper leaves clasp the developing flower stem. What I love about about the leaves however is their ability to trap and kill insects. The leaves are very hairy and sticky and laden with nicotine so passing bugs don't stand a chance. Is this the perfect plant to grow in a vegetable garden? I think so.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Papaver rhoeas

Papaver rhoeas
Spring flowering poppies at the community garden are a reminder that it is Remembrance Day.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Banana "Palm" as bedding plant

Here is a French style banana planting, as the centre piece to a circular bed, surrounded by Cannas and bedding Begonias and making quite an impact in this garden. I am not sure where I took this photo and I assume the whole thing is lifted at the end of the season and bought into a glasshouse while the cedar tree in the background gets dusted with snow.