Tuesday View: The Tropics 6.28.16

Two of my favorite bloggers are bringing back a meme which I’ve always enjoyed.  Cathy of Words and Herbs and Kimberley of Cosmos and Cleome both highlight a longer view each Tuesday and we get to see it develop and change as the year passes.  I’m no expert on the meme but I think Cathy sticks to a specific viewpoint and time while Kimberly varies the perspective and location depending on what’s going on in the garden.  Myself on the other hand am barely capable of getting any post up in a given week, so to keep it simple I’m going to follow Cathy’s lead and go with one view, same bed, same point each week and see if I can handle that.  Also since the tropical bed went in last week (about time since it’s already past the solstice and well into summer) I’m going to highlight this bed as my view, and (hopefully) watch as it grows up. 

Tropical garden

My fingers are crossed that over the next few weeks this bed will become an explosion of color and foliage and maybe bring a taste of the tropics to this end of NE Pennsylvania.

I’ll try to keep this short, since assuming things grow I want to save a little material for future posts, but besides the thrill of actually getting most of the plants in last week I always get a little excited checking this patch each day to see how quickly things progress.  All season bloomers which sit as a lump of color and put out the same old flowers each week bore me a little, and even though I can appreciate someone wanting low maintenance, neat color, I want something that sneaks up on you and then overwhelms you, like a horticultural tsunami!  Hence the tropical garden, and anything bright and big and leafy is more than welcome.

papyrus with black forest rose

The papyrus was not happy last year and I suspect it didn’t get nearly as much water as it wanted so instead of planting it in the ground again I placed it in a pot submerged in a second pot full of water.  Green water.  So far the reviews of this planting have not been 100% favorable.

You can’t really tell from the tiny sprigs, twigs, and tubers, but this year’s theme is orange and purple.  That’s not a solid theme, it’s more my mood when I’m out picking up annuals or choosing which dahlias to put here versus in other parts of the garden… or finding a flat of orange zinnias on sale and liking zinnias.  So until the oranges fill in, hot pink and purple will have to do for a theme.  Besides the annuals, perennials have a way of sneaking in everywhere, and although I pulled a wheelbarrow full of daisies and transplanted dozens of chrysanthemums, there are still a few things such as this knockout rose and purple ‘Caradonna’ salvia which are just too colorful to stand up to.  Maybe next year will be the year I follow through on my threats to remove the salvias.

knockout rose with caradonna salvia

The ultra rare and uncommon ‘Knockout’ rose tastefully complimented with orange zinnias at its feet and scavenged lawn clippings as mulch.  This Tuesday view already promises to reek of class each week 🙂

So there you have it.  By next week I hope to have a few cannas sprouting and a few more zinnias assaulting your color senses and overall I really hope things don’t end up requiring a rototiller and a fresh start by August.

Think about joining in with the view and if you do leave a link at either Cathy‘s or Kimberley’s blog so we can find you.  Not to put words in their mouths but I’m sure both will agree “the more the merrier” and I always enjoy watching another garden grow throughout the season… even if it does turn into a trashy mess of too much color and chaos!

24 comments on “Tuesday View: The Tropics 6.28.16

  1. Christina says:

    This should be a brilliant bed to see each week. I look forward to it.

  2. pbmgarden says:

    Wonderful. Actually I like the salvia and rose combination.

  3. Cathy says:

    Glad you could join us this week Frank. I can’t wait to see the progress in your tropical bed. I like the rose and salvia combination but can imagine this would look odd with tropical orange… let’s wait and see! 😉

    • bittster says:

      Purple and orange might be my new favorite color combo, but with pink? I don’t know. funny how our color tastes sometimes change so quickly. I used to hate nearly all orange!

  4. johnvic8 says:

    I am glad to see you use a few pots with plants in your beds. I have found that to be a great way to add certain plants that might otherwise prove difficult.

    • bittster says:

      I’m also a fan of pots in the landscape. It’s a great way to try thing out without too much commitment, but it’s also a great way to give things just the soil and space they want without losing them in an established bed. Watering is the only hold up, but I find if I stick to drought tolerant things it’s not all that bad.

  5. Went out this morning to take a shot for this meme and could not find a place to stand where the image did not wash out. Maybe I’ll try later or consider myself saved by the sun. I think this will be fun to see something like a tropical patch because my spot does not look lots different from last month now that it’s filling in.

    • bittster says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles sometimes getting decent pictures. One of the most irritating things is thinking you have the perfect lighting and composition and then finding your photos are all rubbish once they’re downloaded. I do that way to much.
      I’m always back and forth between enjoying gardens which are appropriate to the site and take care of themselves vs these subsidized experiments in color and foliage. I really like how they change through the season, so for now they stay 🙂

  6. I do like your slant toward the tropical, Frank! I’m wondering, though, where are the Cannas, because if anything screams tropical, they sure do! I think once the zinnias fill in a bit and the orange is more prominent, it won’t look so bad with that Knockout–red and orange together work in the tropics, right? How much longer will the Salvia bloom? Does that variety go all summer? The purple could be a nice foil for the red and the orange. Now as for that pot of green water–I understand its purpose, but the word ‘ick’ comes to mind, and does ‘Zika’! It will be fun watching this bed through the summer! Thanks for joining the fun!

    • I came up with a brilliant idea for you! Tear out that red Knockout, and carefully dig up your orange Easy Livin’ rose, and switch them! Boom! Problem solved, LOL! Barely any work at all, right?

      • bittster says:

        hmmmmm. The Livin Easy would be perfect in that spot… but considering it took me three years to finally transplant a few chrysanthemums I would look for this change to happen before spring 2020 at earliest 🙂

    • bittster says:

      Seriously? You know me better than that to think there are no cannas in this bed! They’re just starting to poke up out of the ground today…. I wasn’t kidding about the late planting lol
      The salvia will try and bloom all summer but with everything else so fresh and lush and leafy I just get tired of the tired old bloom stalks but also don’t want to look at a dead hole of cut back clumps. I really should have moved them.

      • Pheww! Now I’ll be able to rest easy at night! I have one Canna in a pot–planted three healthy looking tubers (?), all with a bit of growth showing already, but only one came up. Probably shouldn’t have bought them at Home Depot. And as for being late, I am finally going to pot up a few Caladium bulbs today, and hope for better luck since they were a Home Depot purchase as well!

    • bittster says:

      I just planted a few Walmart caladiums yesterday. Half price is hard to argue with and I’m taking a gamble on a clearance dahlia tuber as well. The picture looks promising even if I have my doubts about the ID being accurate.

  7. I love “timeline” posts and will enjoy seeing your tropicana (Copacabana?) bed develop! 🙂

  8. Finally, gardeners showing the “long view”. 😀 I have been saying that for a long time that we need more to see than the one flower head representing a garden. It is a good idea to look at a view over time too. Little can be known limiting the view, so showing it in its entirety is welcome.

    • bittster says:

      I agree, the only downside is there’s so much not worth seeing in my garden that a good deal of photo cropping keeps my gardening credibility intact!
      I like to pretend that the sumac suckers and prickly poppy are not running amuck in the back of the vegetable garden… but maybe it’s time to do an ugly truth post. I wonder how that would go? People may actually enjoy it, I think the word ‘schadenfreude’ comes to mind.

  9. Peter/Outlaw says:

    I’m looking forward to watching this bed fill in over the summer! I also cultivate the ultra rare, uncommon, and screamingly tastefully-colored knockout rose. You just can’t beat it!

    • bittster says:

      Ah good to hear I have decent company in the knockout rose department. I have this paranoia that a serious gardener will come for a visit and cringe at the sight. I’d have to pull out some rare alpine or orchid to cover up the faux pas.

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