Several weeks ago, I caught Gus n Gertrude perching on a pot in our empty yard. “So Gus…” “Yes, Gertrude?” “The wisteria is a’hangin’ off the back fence”. “So?” “So it can’t be long now till this place gets REAL colorful!” “Gertrude, are you feeling alittle down?” “Yea, this time of year I just get kinda gray…” Well, I didn’t hear the rest of their conversation ‘cause they flew off. But Gertrude was right. A little bit at first, but then a torrent of color and texture found its way to Calverts yard. And in the gentle evening light, the colors practically melt in your mouth.
So if you haven’t been to Calverts lately, you’re in for a treat. Let me be your personal shopper as I take you on a tour. But beware—when you come to walk these pathways yourself, grab a greenhouse person to help you, ‘cause these plants will jump into your arms!
What’s not to love about this absolutely delicious jasmine? These came in early this spring covered with flowers, and now they are starting to grow more.
Hey—who painted my Chinese evergreen?? No, it’s not a croton, but a new hybrid of aglaonema that are being bred for color. Check out those pink petioles! Also in the greenhouse, meet Mr. he-man marginata. He’s especially proud of his big trunk. Did you bring lots of salad dressing for this head of lettuce? Oh wait—it’s just a giant aeonium. I bet you’ve never seen anything like it. This gnarly- looking fellow is called a monstrosus. He’s tall, blue, and handsome. Just don’t give him a hug.
Did you like the bromeliad packs that were planted 3 to a pot? Now you can amp up your “brom” fix with 5 instead of 3. These will fit nicely in a low bowl. A new neoregelia bromeliad just arrived is called olens cruenta. You can call him “ole” for short. Right now he appears lime greenish and burgundy. But put him in some sun and he should become yellow and red! Just when you thought you’d never see a cymbidium orchid to die for, well, here’s one. But just save yourself, and take one home. She’s called “forgotten fruit”. And the other color of cymbidium in stock has a lovely glowing color when backlit by the sun. If there ever was a match made in heaven, this anthurium and this pot are it. I’m not so much a pink person, but I have to admit this combo is truly striking.
And outside, in the garden of delights, oh what temptations! Yes, we did practically have a zone 9 winter. But after last year’s hellish summer, there is a new optimism in the air. All is fresh and bright, filled with a promise for a lovely plant-friendly summer.
Here’s something you don’t see every day. It’s called a kangaroo paw flower. It looks so cool I had to try it in another pot. Its flowers are long-lasting and unusual. The buds are fuzzy—come pet one!
Wow, look at these. Enchanting, exciting echeverias and other succulents are all the rage. Many have a blue cast that compliments a colored pot. Bright light and cool nights intensify their colors, bringing out their reds and pinks. This array of aeoniums is called “sunburst”. When the nights get a little warmer, you can put this croton outside in a pot. This variety is called “Zanzibar” and you wouldn’t believe how well he did for me last year on my deck in mostly shade, in 100 degree heat, as long as I watered it almost every day. And speaking of shade, zing up your shade with this cadre of cordylines. Why settle for wimpy ferns, when Mr. macho can save the day! He’s big, beefy, and tough, taking more sun without that awful shedding thing that ferns do. If he gets the ideal conditions, he can get big big big!
For me, summer cannot begin without a bougainvillea or two on my deck. Check out these gorgeous braided ones, in luscious colors. Last but not least, here is something new to Calverts this year. It’s a calamondin orange hanging basket, loaded with fragrant flowers, just waiting to make you lots of baby oranges! Of course, this is just a fraction of all the cool stuff to see in Calverts yard. I can’t wait to beauty-up my deck. Gus and Gertrude would approve.
Sun, April 15, 2012