Viva la Tropicalismo!

“Tropicalismo” is so very ’90s but being in style was never my strong point. I still love the tropical look with big leaves and bright colors and lush happy growth right during the months when everything else looks a little tired and faded. Too big elephant ears, too bright cannas and just a little too tall grasses always make me smile when the bleeding hearts are dying in the heat. I even like the bright red salvia that is normally reserved for gas stations and trailer parks. Feel free to judge me, here’s a picture of the tropical bed last year.
tropicalismo gardening
This was a new area that was the perfect match of big space, full sun, and no planting budget, so I pulled together the leftover canna roots, popped in a couple sweet potato cuttings, and scattered some annual seedlings and with plenty of water and fertilizer it all came together.
As usual this year I’ve fallen behind, and the tropical bed is still a weed infested patch of leftover perennials, a few nice salvias, and an appropriately bright knockout rose.
a weedy flower bed
I finally got around to weeding, mulching, and planting. It may seem like all is lost with such a late planting date, but the experience of a chronic procrastinator has taught me things will still work out fine. Also the late planting allowed several self sown red salvias and amaranth to make themselves known. All good things since I used up all the spare annuals when I expanded the front yard border.
So here it sits, still a little sparse, but ready to take on all the drought and heat summer throws its way.
weeded bed with some grass clipping mulch
With any luck I’ll still have the same tastelessly colorful display as last year, minus a few of the exceptionally colorful and tacky tropicana cannas.
cannas and salvia

5 comments on “Viva la Tropicalismo!

  1. pbmgarden says:

    When it gets to be the hot, middle of summer time of the year the garden needs to be kicked up a notch. I have always loved those red salvia but lately I’ve been buying a salmon color. They don’t do nearly as well.

    • bittster says:

      You’re right, I haven’t had as good luck with the other colors either. I was hoping if I saved seeds eventually I’d get a taller, more vigorous plant but I usually end up losing or forgetting about them. Red is nice though.
      You would think such a bright color would bring in loads of hummingbirds, but right now for the life of me I can’t remember if it did or not! Ill have to pay better attention this year.

  2. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with lots of color! I’m sure many of my neighbors would be happier if I limited myself to a foundation planting of shrubs and a border of modestly sized flowers along the driveway … but I gotta be me!

  3. […] seedlings showed, and this spring was a bust as far as all the seeds I started, so many of the brightest colors from last year are hushed.  For now I’ll have to keep satisfied with my little bit of the tropics in […]

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