Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Many years ago when I lived in Laos my yard there had these beautiful variegated plants growing in the form of large shrubs. Of course, here in Mississippi these tender tropicals must be kept as houseplants during the winter. For now, my two types of graptophyllums are basking outside and thriving in the summer sun and humidity.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Bougainvilleas are so vain and always want to be noticed and be the center of attention. When variegated bougs like this one start to bloom, they certainly do catch your eye. In full bloom they are dazzling...almost like flashing neon lights at casinos.
This variegated ginger from Texas is new in my garden this year, and I look forward to its peachy flowers with gold throats. I think the professor, Dr. Moy, developed or found a real winner when he introduced this variety. No wonder he gave his own name to it.
It doesn't bother me that this old-fashioned plant is as common as pig tracks because it can flourish in the poorest soil with total neglect and nothing takes the wind out of its sails. I admire people and plants that triumph under adverse conditions.
I am so very pleased that this minature golden sedum from Japan flourishes in this hot and humid Mississippi climate. It looks great year round and I like it so much that one day I plan to have big pots of it in every bed and border here. From one tiny pot I bought two years ago, I now have ten. I wish my investments had a ROI like this!
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Tomorrow is the birthday of my beloved grandmother, Lily Rose, called "Mammy" by her grandchildren. She was born 120 years ago on 9-5-1887 and in those days I suppose it was fashionable to name girls after flowers and jewels with names like hers, Lily Rose, and others such as Violet, Opal, Ruby, Pearl, etc. This old and faded photo was taken about 1925 under a magnolia tree at the home my grandparents built on their Hope Estate Plantation near Wisner, Louisiana. It is one of my favorite pictures of my grandparents and reflects the happiness of those days when times were really, really good for them before the Depression hit. They were in "High Cotton" and it was the "Roaring Twenties". Mammy lived to be 101 years old and when I think of all the "firsts" she witnessed during her long life such as the first cars, the first electric lights, the first airplanes, the first time women got the right to vote, first radios and television, etc., etc. it boggles my mind. She was the wise and wonderful matriarch of our family and I am blessed to have known her and grateful to be her grandson.
Once while vacationing on Isla Mujeres, an island off the coast of Yucatan, Mexico, I saw a shoeshine boy on the street with a basket of hibiscus flowers plying his trade by polishing people's shoes with the blooms. I tried it and it really works! What a clever and cheap way to make a peso, and considering that the hibiscus flowers last only a day and are so plentiful in the tropics, I think using such a resource as hibiscus flowers to shine shoes makes a lot of sense. I have often been amazed by the incredible beauty amidst dire poverty you sometime see in the tropics.
I love any and everything tropical including all the loud and hot colors of many tropical flowers. Nothing says "tropical" better than a plain ole red hibiscus, which I first fell in love with as a small boy in my grandmother's yard in Florida.