Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
When one hears the term lily it tends to evoke images of well-known flowers of varied colors and forms. All of which lean toward oooohing and awing our botanical senses.
There are not so many lilies at Hoe and Shovel as one might see in a zone more tolerant of some of the beauties that come to mind. We do have day lilies which can be seen popping up as early as March. But I've admitted shamelessly to my inefficient ways with this popular flower.
We also grow Amazon Lilies, Eucharis grandiflora (syn. E. amazonica).
Now that name conjures up thoughts of ginormous proportions. Actually, it is a normal-sized white flower. Its plant leaves disappear altogether in the winter and reappear in spring. However, this year the Eastern Lubber grasshoppers gnawed every one of the beautifully extra-wide green leaves to the ground. They are -- the Amazon lilies, not the grasshoppers -- part of the Amaryllis family and likewise depend on their greenery to generate the bloom. So, you guessed it, I never got to see one bloom from my plants last spring. I'll be moving them next spring (when they first pop out of the ground) to a location I frequent more often. Those dastardly grasshoppers are not going to steal my blooms another year.
Then there are rain lilies which we grow here effortlessly. We lean much toward these types of plants and flowers. Effortlessly is a trait we welcome in any plant. In rain lilies it is due to their habit of just "being".
But I didn't start this post to talk about THOSE lilies.
If you take a look back at the very first photo the green and white strappy plants in the foreground are the popular landscaping plant I wanted to highlight today. Yes, that's the one -- the border plant to the side of the purple queenon the left and the chartreuse sweet potato vine on the right (I do love that combination). It's called Variegated Flax Lily, Dianella tasmanica 'Variegata'. Looking very closely, again, you might notice a few very wispy stalks of an almost weedy characteristic growing from the center of the plants (second photo).
Obviously the Variegated Flax Lily isn't a lily at all by common lily standards. Where do they come up with these names?
You wouldn't know it unless you were making an effort to notice but these delicate, tiny-- and I do mean tiny --- flowers sit atop those weedy looking stalks all spring/summer long. I'm a little late taking photographs of them so most of the stalks have faded. But here we are into autumn and they are still blooming.
Because they are in great demand in my area they cost a little more than I like to pay. I bought a few last spring and divided them for this border. The summertime has been generous to them growing them to double proportions in this short time. I'll be dividing these up in the next few weeks to distribute them to more borders. This will be the process until they are placed in all the spots in my garden I envision them to add to the scenery.
This is a low maintenance plant and an easy grower. The foliage is a little more substantial in volume than the variegated liriope that borders so many of my beds.
I guess you could say my design style leans toward completing every bed with a border. I think borders give a sense of continuity and boundary by sort of pulling everything together --- no matter what it is that grows within. The use of natural borders allows the flow of tranquility in a tropical-style garden. I do like stones and rocks as well -- only they aren't as economical in this part of the country so they aren't used as often as I'd like actually for our landscaping at Hoe & Shovel.
Do you prefer borders? What do you recommend for that finishing touch in your garden? Some gardens are more woodlands and one might not think it necessary for borders in such a garden. I must say I love every style of garden, don't you? Gardens are much like interior decorating... you can like every style but you probably shouldn't display every style in the same house.
Hope you are all enjoying your gardens this weekend whatever style they are.
Happy Saturday, Meems