Monday, February 9, 2009

WOW is the Word!

Now that the holidays have come and gone, construction has begun again. For a few days, it was eerily quiet on site. However, it is bustling again!

Almost a year ago, the horticulture team secured a number of wonderful collections and one of those where Heliconias from Costa Rica. They arrived in boxes and the root structure resembled a club. We potted them up and drove them down the road to O’Donnell’s nursery where they are growing them for us. We just didn’t have the space for all these pots. This week I had the chance to get over to the nursery and ‘WOW’ about sums it up! Some of the Heliconias are 10 feet tall and some were even blooming! Heliconia inflorescences are either upright or pendent (hanging). We included a few of the pendent species; one of them is Heliconia mariae. Similar to the Heliconia rostrata that is we have at the Garden, this inflorescence is very compact, not to mention that H. marieae can grow 15-23 feet tall! As with some of the interesting upright Heliconia inflorescence, Heliconia wageriana is just stunning. It too has a more compact shape, with red and green coloring.

We also started a wonderful collection of bougainvillea. They were potted up and trellised last spring. Again, ‘WOW’ is the word. The bougainvilleas are climbing up their trellis and flowering like crazy. Some have already been trimmed. They are going to be placed on many of the pergolas that will be built all around the garden. With the different colors, it will be like a living rainbow.

It is important to know the conditions that are the best for growing your plants. Bouganvilleas are arid climate plants and are best when grown in very well drained soil and direct light. Heliconias are most often found growing in damp, rich soil with light shade and thrive when given these conditions in your garden.

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