In every garden there are those specific, faithful plants in which the gardener anticipates the arrival of an annual bloom time. We know it is inevitable. It's like waiting for the seasons to change. You know the expected time it will transition you just don't know the exact day the change will appear.
Often these are the very plants that faithfully supply hardy foliage and steadfast characteristics throughout the year. We love them for that. We depend on their stalwart performance as we pay little attention to them due to many other endeavors going on right around them. But they are easy and carefree and don't insist on being the center of attention. Their supporting role is to be noticed occasionally as the backdrop or a specimen in an otherwise multi-layered setting.
In the case of Variegated Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet) it is the elongated yellow and green striped leaves that make my heart go pitter-patter. In my filtered, high-shifting shady areas they stand out brightly against varied textures and layers of greenery.
Then one spring day, seemingly out of nowhere, a bud is staring me in the face. It's as if all of a sudden, in an instant ~ a blink even ~ this beautiful burst of wrapped up energy has emerged. Was I too busy caring for all your neighbors to notice or did you really sprout overnight? Elation fills my emotions as if this were the first I'd ever seen this favorite of the perennials bloom.
But of course I have seen them bloom before. Every year when these exotic blooms appear they catch me by surprise. As if I didn't really expect them when I most certainly do. I anticipate them to fill the air with their lightly fragrant flush of musky ginger each May.
So tropical yet so resilient to the elements. The towering oak trees overhead protect from brutal afternoon rays as well as occasional frost and freeze making these Florida-Friendly gingers a perfect fit in my garden.
Is your anticipation mounting for a favorite perennial to bloom?
Quick Tips For Growing Variegated Shell Ginger:
**Be prepared to wait as it takes a few years of maturity for them to initially send out their exquisite flowers.
**Plant them as a background or middle layer that fits in with a 5-6 foot setting.
**Add plenty of organic materials to sandy soil to make this plant happiest
**Can be grown in the ground or in a container
**Rhizomes can be divided to transplant
Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.