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When I started this blog venture with co-writer Chris, the first thing I did was to put in a tropical garden off my back porch. It has been more than 4 years and to see it’s evolution is absolutely marvelous….wondrous actually.
This morning I walked out on the deck, and I see such a brilliant sight – these giant ginger blossoms peaking from the tropical jungle thicket. It’s actually a Ginger Lily, or Hedychium. Look at those salmon-colored beauties. Gorgeous!
You should definitely grow Ginger Lilies. I got mine from Big Bloomers in Sanford.
Two keys to success in growing Ginger Lilies are:
- Plant in super sun
- Plant in well drained soil
That is all I have done and they have come back now 3 years in a row, growing taller every year.
How about you? Any thing in your Jungle that stands out?
There’s nothing subtle about August in the North Carolina. Likewise, there’s nothing subtle about my two favorite garden plants this time of year. Both are big, bold, and splashy enough to enjoy from the window on those days when it’s just too humid and buggy and venture out.
Mexican Sunflower is first on the list. It is one of those (rare) plants that are tough enough to punch through the shade of taller neighbors in spring and take over the late summer garden.
I’m also growing a smaller yellow version from a mix called Arcadian Blend. The seeds came from Thompson and Morgan, a great British based company that’s collected a lot of my $ over the years. (They did give me awesome seeds in return)
Black Elephant Ear has no flower to speak of, but it still makes the top two in my August garden.
The leaves are huge, cool looking, and it will grow in sun or shade. This giant is actually growing in a pot.
A somewhat tender perennial, you can mulch it heavily and hope for the best, or do what my sister and I do–carry it through the winter in the greenhouse or garage.
We’ve been very successful with this in recent years. Now many of our pals have Black Elephant Ear. Let us know if you want to be on the list–
I think I know what it must feel like to be a millionaire. Not because I became one from some fat inheritance or selling my latest Start up…no, no….that is NOT the case.
It’s my tomatoes!
I got my second harvest and my first BIG one. I had to re-stake them and ask for a hand because so of them are now close to 8 feet tall. And all the little green, promising fruit makes my eyes twinkle.
I honestly felt so rich today. Abundance doesn’t have to be defined by cash or the value of your retirement portfolio. No, no…you can feel wealthy from the most humble of things…like tomatoes.
Now, I know what it feels like to be a millionaire. To have so much and be so thankful….and share.
Anyone want to come over for a tomato snack?
Just call me loaded
In Wake County (NC) big, homegrown tomatoes usually ripen by July 4th, but the weather this year….enough said.
Still my little victory doesn’t mean I’m a better gardener than my friends. I just have an Early Girl plant.
Ok, I was pretty smart this year. I planted seed for EARLY, MID-SEASON, and LATE tomatoes. Now my planning is paying off.
There’s nothing like homegrown, is there?
Fresh tomatoes are the centerpiece of many summer meals in our house. Here’s one of the favorites: Caprese Salad made with homegrown tomatoes, basil, local garlic; plus buffalo mozzarella, and lots of good olive oil from my favorite Italian Market, Capri Flavors. Check them out, especially if you need oil for roasting vegetables. www.capriflavors.com The house brand, Titina’s Extra Virgin is a bargain.
So what are you eating from the garden this week?
Glad I finally took her advice and raked some Lauren’s Grape Poppy Seeds into my garden this winter.
I’ve never grown a prettier poppy–and I’ve grown at lot of these wonderful flowers over the years.
These tall , stately plants will bloom, then set thousands of seed of their own. There will be plenty to share with gardening friends (or sisters) for next season.
One more thing–perennial Oriental poppies are a whole different beast. They don’t enjoy our Southern heat and drought at all.
So stick with hardy annual poppies like Lauren’s Grape. Check out one of my sister’s favorite sources, Select Seed for some poppy seeds of your own.