|The main yard on arrival - lush and leafy but not much colour!|
For those of you that haven't read my earliest blogs, the yard here is mainly pressed concrete with narrow borders. Yes - inspiring! And its rented so we can't make major changes. When we arrived four years ago, they were almost solely planted with Nandina domestica which Philip hates with a vengeance. We have slowly nibbled away at these and added extra interest. As the borders are filled with pipes, cables and palm roots, new planting is a slow and hazardous job achieved with a trowel and small hand-fork. We therefore also have a fair few pots. Despite its limitations, its my garden and my opportunity to garden in a warm climate so special to me!
|The planting battlefield|
We have two Queen palms, one of which has just flowered. in the current heat their shade is welcome. There is a red bougainvillea which fills a corner right up to the roof. The two Calliandras grow like crazy so we prune them in summer and then let them grow late autumn before their spring flowering. The Podrania has also grown well and will hopefully flower over winter. The humming birds love this. Last spring I divided the Musa 'Goldfinger' and placed it in a shady corner to recuperate. It has loved this and looks lush and green - maybe this year it will fruit for us.
|Remains of the queen palm flower spike|
|Bougainvillea - 'Scarlet O'Hara' I think with lost of winter colour to come|
|Bougainvillea 'Purple Queen' - a delicate colour but I don't like the way it holds on to the fading bracts|
|Alpinia zerumbet 'Variegata' in a shady corner' (pic by Philip)|
|One of the dwarf bougainvilleas and a couple of amazingly vigorous albino shoots. If they survive, it will be interesting to see flowers on these.|
|The 'swamp agave' drying out.|
We seem to have lost our 'tame' humming bird, although there is little in flower at the moment to attract him. I've filled the feeder to try and tempt him back. Over past years we've often had tiny lizards in the yard but this year we seem to have acquired a large one. I've only seen it scampering away when disturbed but I'm sure that sooner or later we'll have a face-to-face and I guess I'll jump a mile as I'm not a great lover of things that hop, wiggle or scamper through my borders!
|The 'regular' lizards and Podrania when it flowers|
|Our new monster lizard|
With temperatures for next week forecast between 95-107F (35-42C), I am not rushing to do any new planting but I guess I'll soon feel the need for a trip to my favourite garden centre. Did I also mention it's next door to a French patisserie? Watch this space!