Tuesday View: The Tropics 09.13.16

Cathy at Words and Herbs has been following a weekly view of her garden throughout the season, and each Tuesday I’ve been trying to join in and keep track of my own weekly view in order to catalog the changes.  This week the roofers are next door and this afternoon they’ve made their way to the side where the tropical garden grows.

tropical garden

This afternoon’s view of the tropical garden.

Other than a few stray roof shingles and tar paper strips the garden has escaped damage, and that’s great because now is the time of year when every day is a celebration of summer and every night is a reminder that colder weather is on the horizon.  As nighttime temperatures cool off I’m beginning to notice a tint of red in some of the clumps of annual burning bush (Kochia scoparia).  Me thinks in a few weeks the ‘will it burn or will it snuff out’ question will finally be answered.

kochia burning bush

The clumps of burning bush (Kochia) are actually several seedlings all planted into the same hole. Most of the season they’ve appeared to be one big bush, but now a few here and there are going their own way and beginning to show color.

I can’t imagine these plantings will be as successfully bright as some of the photos I’ve seen online but if they’re halfway interesting I will be happy enough.  As it is their fluffy green mass has been a welcome green rest in an otherwise overloaded bed of color.

tall purple salvia splendens

One of the less-than-bright kochia seedlings.  More of a tan in my opinion, but things are all under a little stress here in the shadow of the canna clump…. with the exception of the tall purple salvia splendens seedling, it’s still doing just fine!

The rest of this post is gratuitous canna color.  I posted canna ‘Cannova Rose’ last week, but it’s still outstanding, and deserves another mention.

canna cannova rose

Cannas and dahlias with an orange zinnia and purple petunias.  The petunias were planted as petunia intergrifolia but I bet there’s something else in there as well, and that’s just fine since I like the bold mini-flowered purple groundcover it’s become.

Canna ‘Tropicana’ is always over the top.  I think you either love it or turn away in disgust, but either way it’s a bright tropical show.

canna tropicanna

Canna ‘Tropicanna’ in a bed of verbena and backed by one of those dark leaved, huge, grow-it-as-an-annual, Napier grasses (Pennisetum purpureum).  Hard to see in the picture, but the grass is just over five feet, so probably much bigger than you’d guess.

I know I’ve called Canna ‘Bengal Tiger’ my absolute favorite canna, but there’s a new kid on the block this year.  Canna x ehemanii is an old hybrid which tops nearly every other canna in the gracefulness category.  I did not suspect my small plant would bloom this year but here it is opening its first flower.  A little short for this variety, but much easier to admire when it’s down here amongst us mortals 🙂

canna x ehemanii

I saw Canna x ehemanii growing in a corner of Chanticleer a few years back and have been looking for my own plant for years.  Once open its flowers will arch and hang with an amazing tropical grace that you’ll have to trust me on right now, but I’m sure more pictures will follow as it develops. 

We are into the one month countdown.  First frost typically hits around mid-October in these parts, and for as much heat and drought and storm this garden can take, it can’t take a hard freeze.  That’s a Tuesday view I’m not looking forward to.

In the meantime please give Cathy a visit and find out what she and other bloggers are seeing this Tuesday.  It’s a great way to keep up with the changes and really see just how much goes on in your garden!

17 comments on “Tuesday View: The Tropics 09.13.16

  1. Christina says:

    I’m so enjoying your Tropical border Frank; I didn’t like the comment about the one month countdown though! I love all your Cannas which is strange because I didn’t used to like them at all.

    • bittster says:

      Yes, one month sounds like such little time and I do try and get out there and enjoy it every day for as long as I can. Strangely enough I feel like it’s doing well enough to ‘fill my tank’ and when the frost finally does come along I might be ok with that. -not thrilled, but it shouldn’t be complete devastation either.
      In the right spot almost any plant can seem appealing, cannas included! Even flowers I call ugly can show up in a spot where I’m forced to swallow my words and admit they look brilliant.

      • Christina says:

        I find some people (not you) mistake tropical for Mediterranean which are completely different. Tropical is hot and wet with mild winters but Mediterranean in hot and very dry with possibly very cold winters. Very cold is relative though. You have much colder winters than we have here.

  2. Cathy says:

    The salvia is looking good in there, and I can’t wait to see if the kochia turn such vivid colours as in your link! Love the latest canna to flower – what a lovely colour. And the dahlias are all gorgeous still. Don’t even mention that chilling F word Frank, I am hoping for temperatures to stay nice and mild for at least the next six weeks… 😉 Thanks for joining me again!

    • bittster says:

      Here it’s been wonderfully warm and I think the plants and summer bugs have really enjoyed it… but the tide seems to be turning and a few nights look downright frigid. We will be finding out soon enough what kind of winter lies in store for us this year.
      But in the meantime soak it up for as long as you can!

  3. I fall into the “Love it”category when it comes to Tropicana! Glad those roofers aren’t causing trouble for your garden, and hope it stays that way! A good friend up here had a real roofing horror story this year–for one, it took them two months! Looking forward to seeing future pics of ‘ehemanii”!

    • bittster says:

      You’ll need to give Tropicanna a try next year! It’s not as overwhelming as the purple leaved one and for as much as I call it tacky or gaudy I love it too.
      Canna x ehemanii has opened a little more and it looks great! -not as graceful as I expected, but it’s still a small and somewhat struggling plant so I’m thrilled it’s even flowering 🙂

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    I love your plant combinations, you are a true artist in the garden!

  5. rusty duck says:

    One month. 30 whole days. #glasshalffull
    Enjoy it while it lasts, there’s plenty to enjoy!

    • bittster says:

      When I’m out there it’s all good, but when I’m indoors and see a calendar the dates start haunting me. Still, every memory of these summer days is something to file away for February 🙂

  6. Lisa Rest says:

    What beautiful plants and pictures! How you managed to get everything to grow so beautifully together is mind-boggling to me. I plant things and wait for them to surprise me but I’ll never see anything like this. 🙂

  7. Layanee says:

    I am so enjoying the cannas this year. My new favorite is ‘Blueberry Sparkler’ which has dark foliage with pink flowers. It is very dramatic in a dignified way. Thanks for visiting my Bloom Day garden.

  8. Love your Cannas – mine bloom rather sparsely, so I gave up on them. Never heard of Kochia – when you mentioned burning bush I thought you meant Euonymous alata. Then I saw you were talking about an annual.

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