IT CALLED OUT TO ME at the garden center the other day, with its insane pink- and silver-flushed, fuzzy, foliage. And that was before the flowers showed up. Though simply labeled “Tropical Plant’ on the generic plastic tag (can you believe?) I knew it was an Episcia—a gesneriad, like African violet (Saintpaulia) and Sinningia—but that was about it. Home it came, anyhow, and I’m learning about how to grow my new roommate, commonly called a flame violet. [read more…]
My houseplants, from Clivia and fancy-leaf begonias to bromeliads and more, are true 365-day garden plants, keeping me company all winter, then joining me outdoors in the garden to add color and texture each spring-into-fall.
ONE OF MY 2012 TROPICAL PLANT PURCHASES is starting to scare me. The so-called Rex begonia vine—no begonia at all, really, but a gorgeous grape relative from parts of Southeast Asia and Australia—is not going to fit through the door this fall if this lusty behavior keeps up. Meet beautiful Cissus discolor, which I intended to overwinter indoors as a houseplant…oh, dear, what was I thinking when I trained it upward instead of in an easier-to-carry-in hanging basket?
I WENT SHOPPING SATURDAY at a giant annual plant fair nearby, making a beeline to the bromeliad department, a.k.a. the booth of Dave Burdick’s Daffodils and More. I know, bromeliads are not related to daffodils—but like many keen gardeners, Dave has more than one obsession. And I have a special affection for Dave, who delivered my first few too-big-to-handle shrubs here 20-plus years ago and planted them: two spicebush, or Lindera benzoin, and the start of a glade or devil’s walking stick, Aralia spinosa. But I digress: Today’s topic is bromeliads. [read more…]
TWO CLASS SESSIONS FULL OF YOU visited yesterday to talk about container gardening, but for those who didn’t take the workshop in person, a recap seemed in order since it’s that time: everything into the pots! [read more…]