Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Tropical Border in July

I started doing a lot of container gardening about ten years ago and it has gone from a pastime to a passion that occupies a  lot of gardening time and garden real estate.  We live on a piece of property that is basically nothing but a glacial rock pile so anything that gets planted here has to have major rock excavation done first. As I progressed from 12" pots to 18" and on up I realized that there isn't anything much you can't grow in a container  and eureka! you don't have to dig rocks out first.

The tropical border began just as a regular collection of containers with annuals but expanded as I started collecting tropical and temperennials. What started as a 10' x 10' area in the corner of the front yard is now a 12' x 30' border that houses my largest tropicals. I normally have 45 to 50 containers in this one area each year. The old gentleman of the border is an eight year old specimen of Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi'.  Not anything special where they are zone hardy but a great old friend to me that has to get severely pruned and shoved into a dark basement over the winter.  By Autust it normally pushes out 300 plus blossoms at a time and is a show stopper here in Zone 5.  Of course it had to have company so I added Ensete maurelii and lots of different colocasias, acalyphas and cupheas, etc.  I also have a four year old Alocasia portodora that will probably be pushing 8' by the end of summer.  They are a lot of work but what fun to have a tropical oasis here in New Hampshire.


















22 comments:

  1. Deanne, your border is amazing. From the meticulous care, to the many different types of plants. Just gorgeous, and thank you for sharing it!

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    1. Thanks for the kind comment Drema! much appreciated

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  2. It's all absolutely beautiful Deanne, so much work, resulting in so much splendor!

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    1. Many thanks Rose! It's a labor of love

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  3. I love this tropical container border. It's absolutely inspirational. I'm wondering what that strappy plant is with the peachy/yellow leaves, in the square orange container with fleur-de-lis on the side. Do you over-winter them in a greenhouse, or do they all just go into a dark basement?

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    1. Thanks Alison! that plant is Aechmea blanchetiana, a type of bromeliad. Some of these overwinter in a greenhouse and some in the basement. Anything that can go dormant like the brugmansias, Colocasia esculente, Ensete maurelii etc. go in the basement at 48 to 50F in the dark. Those that have to stay in the green go either under lights or in a greenhouse.

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  4. Oh my goodness Deanne! I don't know if you've shown this much of your border all in one shot before but this just took my breath away! I'm absolutely smitten with all of the warm colors, the variety of textures and the abundance in this bed and blow away by the amount of work I know it takes to achieve this in New Hampshire! The arrangement is masterful and the plants have knit together very nicely. You're a pretty amazing person, Ma'am!

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    1. Many thanks! This is the only area in my gardens I allow bright orange... I never used it before then figured I'd feature hot colors in this area. It makes a visual splash

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  5. I wish everyone reading here had the opportunity to see this 'in person' ...the photos are beautiful, but a stroll with a glass of wine is an experience I cherish. Be sure to provide some smelling salts for those swooning Open Day crowds this weekend Deanne !

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    1. Thanks Kathy! I love being able to show this garden in person. Such fun, and of course a glass of wine takes it to a whole new level

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  6. Wow! I am blown away...what a commitment and what a pay off. Everything is just gorgeous you are obviously a first rate plants person!

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  7. Loving all the colour and texture of your tropical border Deanne, it's gorgeous!

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  8. Well I'm certainly looking forward to strolling through it with a glass of wine on Saturday!

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  9. You are so dedicated...you make me feel bad, I was too lazy to even move one pot into the back yard last year!

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  10. I can't get over how your flowering maples are blooming their heads off. My wintered over ones are just starting to bud up. How do you do it?
    Have you ever wintered over a mandevillea? Mine is growing but I don't see a single flower bud. Any secrets?
    Melanie

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    1. Thanks Melanie, the Abutilon 'Vodoo' that is blooming in these pics was wintered over in a greenhouse, however, I normally keep them going under lights after a serious pruning in the fall. I do a liquid feed once a week in the summer when things are growing well and it seems to keep them blooming. I've not wintered over mandevilla successfully at home. I tried a couple times but the only success was keeping one in my friend's greenhouse

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    2. Thanks Deanne.

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  11. Jaw-dropping as usual, Deanne. I'm always impressed by the healthy lushness of your containers. Just incredibly high plant culture standards. The famous East Coast humidity might wilt people but look how the plants love it. My two puny colocasias are just barely getting going.

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