Garden Bloggers Bloom Day encourages all gardeners to show what is blooming in their garden on the 15th of each month and share with the gardening blogosphere. I’m sure if I could get out of my wheelchair and had two good arms, so I could hold a camera, it wouldn’t have taken almost five years of blogging to participate in my first GBBD. I forgot my old ad agency buddy Rick fancied photography so he’s graciously agreed to help with GBBD. It’s also high time because I’m progressing past just windowboxes to bigger containers. We have two major patios here at Trinity off each major dining room but the majority of the extra pots are on the patio closer to me which is justified since most pots came from my former home garden or my Mum’s patio as she’s slowing down in her garden commitments.
The image below is taken from the back wall of the courtyard. As you can see, we’ve been very busy especially since I spent the whole month in of May in hospital, and only really got started in early June. I found the old birdbath tucked away behind bushes at Trinity and thought it’d make a cool planter, so I filled with rocks so the pots don’t get soaked with excess water. It’s going to be fun seeing this larger variegated plectranthus spill all over the sides.
Now for a closer look around the planters, as you enter the patio or look from inside the main dining room garden, you’re greeted by a stunning, standard oleander (a standard just means the lower branches have been removed to create a pleasing top). They bring back memories as we had several in our Sydney garden and my in grandmother’s garden on the edge of the Outback.But my lasting memory is tragic because I thought my little turtle needed some greenery in his tank, so I included a small sprig of branch and … killed him… because they’re so poisonous. But I still love them.
The lamp post isn’t a functioning one and I recently found out it was added to prevent people hitting their head on the edge of the hard metal and canvas awning on the dining room window. Now that’s smart designing. Don’t you think? At the base of the oleander, you can’t see three dark purple alternanthera creating a stage for an ultra-lush creeping jenny. And to the left is a hybrid sanseveria, or mother-in-law’s tongue, that I’ve quite smitten with right now.
A hallmark of a refined British gardener back in the day was to include an all white garden (Check out Sissinghurst Castle). As white tends to be the weakest of the varieties (think albinos), only the best gardener could manage a garden of all white (Or more accurately, only the best employee manager could sustain such a garden). So in my own humble way, this is my salute to Sissinghurst featuring ‘Señorita Bianca’ cleome flanked by some lush scaveols and a couple of dichondra ‘Silver Falls’ for additional texture in this monochromatic presentation.
Can’t wait to see the drama fulfilled in this corner of the patio. The center planter is a two-foot wide basket from the Kinsman Company I had fashioned into this stylish planter. The center is the ubiquitous purple fountain grass but rarely is it given such a high profile presentation and should look smashing against the burgundy awning. It’s surrounded by the Scaveola White and ‘Lemon Gem’ lantana. The two shorter varieties of sanserveria in the glazed planters will join the taller one by the lamp post in my low-light room at the end of the season.
The Cleome Señorita Bianca’s sister Señorita Rosalita’s feathery foliage makes a nice foil to the big, bold coloring of these huge Kong coleus. One of the keys to the Señorita series is the fact they are sterile and don’t waste a lot of energy producing all those long seedpods that give cleome its nickname of spider flower. Will be interesting to see if I can bridle the coleus back so as to not overwhelm the cleome. Have been able to do so in my windowboxes. Big disappointment here is a whimsy white lantana that will be shaded over soon enough. The other white/cream lantana I’m growingly in this position.
Well it was too early in the morning for the portulaca ‘Pazazz’ to put on its show but you get the feeling. I want to do my best to ensure the ornamental pepper ‘Purple Flash’ doesn’t get overwhelmed by the gold lantana because the gold flowers with the shiny purple peppers are quite special.
I’m not a real fan of pink flowers (I think it’s the alpha male in me — big HA HA) so I’ve never felt the attraction of the pink mandevilla vine that was the only option for so many years. But now Sun Parasol Giant Crimson has exploded in growth fueled by phenomenal performance in field trials including our local Prairie Star Trials. In a brilliant marketing move, I was able to pick up a large pot with both Giant Crimson and the white on quite an impressive 2′ trellis. Such an impressive specimen I felt I was cheating somehow. But I had our maintenance guy Paul string three lines of thick aware along our already impressive black patio railing. He’s being very diligent in using pull ties to encourage the vines to meander along the wires and railings. I’ve also challenged him to guide the vines to create a dynamic mix of both red and white on each side. Will be interesting to see how far it proceeds along the railing by end of season.
Well the tools are in place to do GBBD each month. Only overlook this time is I accidentally hit the publish button before the 15th. Sometimes I do a little fumbling when I’m typing with one arm. Will work on that for next month. I really feel I’ve accomplished something cool here. Thanks so much, Rick . Aint nothing stopping me now, friends!