Monday, August 18, 2014

Tropical Container Border

I was finally able to spend some quality time in the gardens the last few days and managed to get the tropical container border polished up for a 'photo shoot'.  This garden began with a small corner of the front yard with a few pots back in 2005. It was the second year with my very first Brugmansia. You can see it toward the right of the photo. That plant was, in fact, the 'Charles Grimaldi' that just died this past spring. Poor Charles...  anyway, there was no rhyme or reason to the arrangement of the plants or colors back then, I just grew what I liked  and grouped them together in the corner.

Container garden summer 2005

From that humble beginning the garden expanded over the years to use up more and more of the lawn. (Hahahahahahaha I'm still digging up more areas of the front lawn to the chagrin of my husband) The garden is now about thirty feet long by ten feet at it's widest point. I normally have between forty and fifty pots in this section of the garden and I haven't counted how many different plants I grow in there but there are lots! Quite a few of the containers house combination plantings while there are also a lot of 'mono' pots in there that house the behemoth tropicals.
Container garden Summer 2014

As time went on I became a bit more selective about color choices for the border and have grouped the plantings by color families. The colors cover the hot side of the color wheel from yellows on the right through the oranges in the middle and reds on the left with accents of dark violets for contrast. 

For nine years my lovely Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi' reigned supreme. It grew into a magnificent specimen that would routinely push out more than 300 flowers at a time.
Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi' September 13, 2011
I replaced my 'Charles' this spring, but of course, it's only in its infancy at the moment. You can just see it tucked behind the Alocasia
 


Speaking of Alocasias, I bought this beauty, Alocasia 'Sarian' last year and it is turning into a tropical beauty. Love the texture and contrast in these outstanding leaves.

Anigozanthus is just now pushing out a whole new crop of flowers.
 

Lantana 'Samantha' anchors the right side of the yellow section of the border.

Another yellow Lantana in the yellow section of the border (can't think of the name at the moment)  All the Lantanas winter over dormant in the basement in the winter.


Looking down the border toward the orange section
Cuphea micropetala, this plant is five or six years old now and is a great Hummingbird magnet.  I don't know if I'll be able to keep this one over the coming winter. We'll see if it can go dormant instead of spending the winter in the greenhouse.

Love Euphorbia 'Sticks on Fire'
The queen of the orange section is my Aechmea blanchetiana


The orange section with Alocasia 'Portodora' in the background. Cana 'Pretoria' is a great textural contrast in this section with its striped leaves
This beautiful Brugmansia was a gift from a friend, it's called 'Shorty's Variegated' and a very floriferous variegated variety. The peach color only just allows in the orange section (peach is just a tint of orange) but it's magnificence demands its presence in the border.
Love the contrast between these flowers and the dark leaves of Colocasia 'Diamond Head'
Some of the red section of the border. The Salvia 'Dancing Flame' (behind the fountain) is just getting started

This border has been a fun adventure and we'll see what the future brings. Eventually I'm planning on turning this space into a shrub border that will take much less time and effort to maintain. In the meantime I'm having a ball with my tropical corner in New Hampshire.

22 comments:

  1. The border sure did look fine against the blue blue sky this morning!

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    1. Many thanks Chris, for the comment and especially for watering for me. We all appreciate it!

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  2. My gosh, that is one handsome container garden. Where do you keep all of those huge plants during winter? Surely you don't treat them as annuals. Love the look. I bet the neighbors take a second, third and fourth look...

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    1. Thanks Lisa, I keep many of the larger ones dormant in the basement for the winter and up until this coming winter I had greenhouse space for the temperennials that won't deal with dormancy. I won' t have any greenhouse space this coming winter so will have to cull my collection.

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  3. Bravo Deanne ! How I enjoyed being able to visit your garden 2 years in a row..hope I see even less lawn the next time !

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    1. Thanks Kathy, I'm planning on adding another six feet or so to the Mailbox garden next summer. Doug just keeps rolling his eyes when I mention it. LOL

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  4. Oh my! Your collection trumps most of the nurseries and garden centers I frequent. It's absolutely beautiful, Deanne. I know you work at it but I still think you have a magic touch to create something this splendid.

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    1. Many thanks Kris, the truth is it's a ridiculously sized collection for someone like me who doesn't have a greenhouse. I'm still trying to figure out how to keep as many plants as I can this coming winter.

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  5. Just drop dead gorgeous! I land kind of see a street (I think) in the first photo, can people passing by take this view in? If so have you ever caused a traffic accident?

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    1. LOL Loree, thanks. Yes this is viewable from the street and I frequently get people stopping to ask questions. No traffic accidents that I know of te he

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  6. Deanne, your garden continues to astound me. Just beautiful!

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  7. I'm glad to hear you finally had the chance to spend lots of fun time in the garden sorting out the tropical border, and it shows, they are picture perfect! Loving all the hot colours, gorgeous foliage and blooms, and even the pots!

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    1. Thanks guys, it is my favorite thing to do in the gardens, putter around and polishing up. I've been collecting color coordinated pots for years now but it's hard to find things in the exact right colors, especially yellow

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  8. Photos make this all look like a magic act -- without a clue as to the months of work that goes into it. Those two alocasias are blowing my mind, Deanne!

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    1. Thanks Denise, they blow my mind too! such fantastic plants.

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  9. Wow...your tropical borders are outstanding! The artist shows in every little vignette. I especially loved that orange border...unbelievable. What is Aechmea blanchetiana? I think I need that plant. :-) Is it a tropical? annual? tuber? bulb? I bet Sue has or wants that plant too. :-) I too love your Alocasia 'Sarian'. Do you know how hardy it is? I'm still learning what grows here and what doesn't; but I've been told some E.E.s overwinter here.

    It's such a treat seeing your creative gardens....your color sense is amazing. I sure missed seeing your lovely garden and all of the Idylls; of course. That last year I kind of lost touch due to things going on in my own life. When I finally took a peek I saw that most everyone had left for FB. I'm probably the only person on earth not on FB. My family is always trying to talk me into it, but I'm paranoid about my privacy. I do know it's a great place to stay in touch and find old friends...so maybe some day. :-)

    Anyway....thanks again for sharing all your beautiful gardens and I love that you share with everyone the names of your plants. I already have a Next Spring list started thanks to you. :-)

    Eileen

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    1. Thanks so much Eileen, the Aechmea blanchetiana is a bromeliad and not hardy here. It has to spend the winter in a greenhouse. I'm hoping to beg some space from a friend this winter as I can't afford to heat a whole greenhouse. The Alocasias are also tender and I'm going to have to donate them to a good home as I can't keep anything that large anymore. Please, please come to FB. The Idylls have a private page that no one else can see.

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  10. Shocking beauty! Who would expect to see such a stunning tropical garden in New Hampshire? A lower maintenance shrub border sounds like a good plan for the future but I'm sure glad that for now you are still willing and able to do the tremendous amount of work it takes to make the tropical magic happen!

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    1. Thanks so much Peter, yes indeed, it's a huge amount of work and I don't know how much longer I'll physically be able to keep up with it all. I'm planning on cutting my collection in half this fall. I've got the horticultural director from a local botanical garden coming next week to see if they can use any of my 'babies', better to give them away than compost them.

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  11. This is INSANE!!! I don't even know what to say. I've never seen anything even remotely like it. Beyond amazing and beautiful, Deanne. Just stunning.

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  12. Incredible ! This belongs to the best I have seen. The finest selection of tropical (looking) plants in a stunning combination. So inspiring !

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