Sunday, October 10, 2010

Got a little garden bling?

I love bling.

I loved bling when bling wasn't even cool.

Don't know what I'm going to do when clothing styles change, because I'm taken with the swirls and the sequins and the glitter that are so popular right now.

Then I got to thinking, I like a little bling in my garden, too.

And I don't mean gazing balls (I'm not so fond of them, actually).

Like this ginger I recently planted -- it's kind of like bling in my garden.

What's garden bling, you ask?

You know -- it's those one-of-a-kind specimens, the exotic plants or the plants that perform amazingly. The plants you and your gardening friends ooh and ahhh over time after time.

So here is an overview of the plants I think of as bling in my garden. For starters, there's this Carara Ginger -- a tropical perennial with reddish bracts with pale purple to greenish tips. It blooms for several months and like part shade. It's new to me, and I don't know if it will do well here, but it called my name at the nursery.

This "Phoebe" hellebore is another delicate favorite that is a shining star in my garden. It never ceases to amaze me that she almost disappears in warm months, but comes back in the cold of winter like a pale princess.
Even though the foliage is less than attractive at times, when it blooms, this Night-blooming Cereus is stunning. Sadly, you have to catch it late at night or first thing in the morning to enjoy its one-night bloom.
The cassia, with their tall, exotic structure and candle-like blooms is always a thriller in the garden. Especially the year before last when they didn't die back in the winter and grew to be about 12 feet tall in its second season.
Then of course there is the Moy Grande hibiscus -- phenomenal blooms as big as plates. On a mid-summer day, there were as many as 12 giant blooms open at once. It's a real show-stopper.
These irises are really exotic, but I'm so enamored with the color that I eagerly await their bloom every spring. It's a Louisiana iris, "Professor Neil" and one of my favorites.
The Bletilla Striata, or ground orchids are defnitely bling. Just the thought that I have "orchids" growing in the ground amazes me!

The plumerias definitely are exotics, but they love it here. It's been a particularly good year for them this year. They've liked the extra moisture in the air.
But on the same note, I've had to pull this Desert Rose out of the rain many times this summer because I wants to be dry, dry, dry. And it rewarded me with these great blooms.
These? No exotic at all, but the giant patch of wine cup that completely covers my rock path each spring is another jaw dropper. I walk around the path for months, because I can't bear to cut it back one little bit!
And this ia a perfectly ordinary Wisconsin ditch lily, brought to me in a bucket by car by Lori, the Gardener of Good and Evil . Hemerocalis experts frown at these common ditch lilies, but this amazing plant bloomed for me ALL summer long and at times had a dozen hot tangerine blooms at once.

I had a hard time limiting my choices because there are so many plants in my garden that I think are special. So, these are just a few of my favorite things.

Which plants are the bling in your garden?


Jim/ArtofGardening said...

All my bling has blung. I envy your colors. We're heading from green to brown, though every shade in between is represented heartily.

Pam/Digging said...

I like all your bling. It definitely tends toward the tropical, don't you think? About the gazing balls (which I do like, as you know from your visit to my blog today), I think it's great that we don't all like the same things. Wouldn't the world be boring if we did? :-)

rohrerbot said...

Your flowers are in top shape! The night blooming cereus is fantastic and only for the early to rise is it a treat for the eyes:) That's one reason to get up early! Love the bling.:)

getgrounded said...

Nice post, Diana. You have many flowering things that definitely give your garden that bling - and I love to look at. Your hellebore is much prettier than mine - makes me want to get a different one. And I look forward to next spring when I might have some orchids blooming, too. The plumeria? Wow, your a better woman than I! Don't think I could get that to bloom. Gorgeous!

RBell said...

Beautiful bling! Going to have to keep an eye out for the Bletilla Striata & the "Phoebe" hellebore. And the Plumerias have been tempting me.

In my garden, if it ain't dead or dying, then its bling!

Lancashire rose said...

I'm sitting here thinking 'I don't have enough bling' My bling looks as though I picked it up at a garage sale! I will have a hellebore next spring or at least I hope I will. I picked up a pot in Dallas in the spring after seeing your beauty. Not really something I had thought of as growing in Austin but seeing yours made me feel original homeland sick. We shall see.
Anyway, all your bling would be the envy of any gardener girl.

Amy said...

Very pretty bling, Diana! Did someone say...plant swap? :))

scottweberpdx said...

Nice post...I especially love the Wine vibrant!

Gail said...

Love the bling and want to figure out how to get more! Especially the bletilla and wine cups! Gail

Bob said...

My bling would have to be the Texas Star Hibiscus. It actually looks out of place in my garden so it really stands out.

Are those ditch lilies really just the normal Day Lilies? I've grown those from the same stock since I wa a kid. My garden just can't be with out them.

Cat/The Whimsical Gardener said...

Well Diana your bling is lovely! I'm inspired to get some of those ground orchids and will have to look them up to see if they could survive here in my rocky soil :-) Also, I just added two gingers to my garden this year, both in pots, no flowers yet but I'm hoping. Is yours in the ground? Have you had it long? I enjoyed your post.

dining table said...

The flowers are so beautiful! I love the colors. I would love to have a garden.

Diana said...

Jim - Sorry you're coming into the cold season, but I know first-hand what a long winter's nap does for you in the summer with all your gorgeous blooms. Stay warm!

Pam - It is pretty tropical. Guess I'd call it Texas Tropical, like your former house's Texas English garden! Power to the hybrids~!

roherbot -- I do love the Cereus, just wish it would bloom more often. It was a treat when I got 3 blooms this summer. Guess I'll have to wait til next spring now.

getgrounded - I got 3 new hellebores this year, but only one bloomed so I am eager to see what this winter will produce. I just love their delicate blooms.

Got the Bletilla at HD and at It's About Thyme on Manchaca last spring. The Hellebore was a catalog order - haven't seen them around here at all. Plumerias I have collected from Zilker Gardenfest and my folk's trips to Hawaii, but you can find them around non-native nurseries around town.

Lancashire Rose - You've got to be kidding me. Your WHOLE garden is bling to me! Good luck with your hellebore. I loved watching mine thrive in that snow we had last year. They love the winter.

Amy - You have lots of bling in your garden, too. Yes, plant swap! I have collected a bunch of seeds - plant to dig up some unusual multi-colored agaves and divide some dividable plants this week in preparation! See you Saturday.

Sottweberpdx - Those winecups look like they are going to take over the back yard when they get going in the spring. Truth be told, there are 3 varieties - 2 short and 1 tall, and I didn't intend to get this kind, but I now love it. Sometimes garden mistakes can turn out better than my plans!

Gail - Don't know if you can brow the Bletilla, but try if you can. It's lovely. I have to protect it with a little shade here, but for you it might like the sun. This winecup is the taller variety and it out-performs the other two by a mile, fyi.

Cat - my ginger is a brand new addition, so I have no idea how it will fare. I plant to cover it in freezes, because it seems very tender to me just looking at it, not like my variegated gingers that come back with a bang every year! Are you coming to the plant swap on Saturday? Hope to see you here.

Bob - I don't have a Texas Star, and would like one. I hear they do great in the toughest conditions. I think it's a regular ditch-lily. Lori dug it up from a ditch! It bloomed ALL summer long, there is even 1 bloom coming on it now. Amazing!

Dining Table - Thanks so much. My garden is inspirational to me and such good therapy. Indoor plants and windowboxes and those little herb mini-gardens can do the same for you indoors!

ConsciousGardener said...

Oh you got the bling sistah!

Swimray said...

A lot of what used to be perennial bling in my garden - (Persian shield, Bletilla, castor) - I am seeing these everywhere. Garden centers, nurseries, botanical gardens, blogs. Everywhere. The uniqueness is gone. I am now on the hunt for new bling.

Diana said...

Conscious Gardener - Ha! Love me some bling...even in the garden.

Swimray - yes, the garden is ever-evolving, isn't it? Our friends bring us new discoveries and we're always on the hunt for more.

LindaCTG said...

What perfect bling! That's the fun part about gardening; some fabulous bling like this. And go for those sequins!

Diana said...

Linda - Oh, I'm all about the sequins! 'Cept most things I think are sequins I probably couldn't keep alive! But I sure die trying!