Edited by Cathy Tylka, for Let's Talk Plants! November 2021.
This month's question:
Have you ever had garden envy, plant envy, flower envy . . . What did you want? Did you get it?
Lisa of 92129, sadly laments . . .
. . . Yes, during my first and subsequent numerous trips to Hawaii I was intoxicated by the smell of plumeria and the beauty of all the exotic flowers there. My first visit was at 18, but I vowed that I wanted a tropical garden. I was already a plant fanatic, but had not been exposed to some of the more exotic ones.
When I lived in Long Beach for 25 years, I made it happen and had a jungle paradise of heliconia, numerous plumeria, macadamia, ginger, pineapples, bromeliads, ferns, staghorn, guavas, passionfruit, monstera and countless other Hawaii-inspired plants.
I had a sizable collection of very rare and uncommon plants as well. I could have never imagined having such an amazing paradise in my backyard and every day I would walk in with armloads of beautiful exotic flowers that I would use in my floral designs and I would be thankful every single day that I could grow all of these incredible plants.
Vince Lazaneo, 92126, admitted . . .
. . . Years ago, I saw what looked like a jade plant with chartreuse flowers at a cactus nursery. I did not buy it and have regretted the decision ever since.
Steve Gerischerof, 90041, responded . . .
. . . I inspired envy by showing Lachenalia aloeoides, and L. mutabilis. I was told I couldn't bring them in to show unless I shared or sold some to others in SCHS! L. aloeoides came from Trader Joe's 20 years ago!
Charlotte Getz, of 92024 asks the question . . .
. . . I am looking for a Phormium ‘Guardsman’ or ‘Jester’ with rose and green coloration of the blades of the plant. Key question - is it a stable variety? Are the colors maintained for the life of the plant?
And Ida Riggs, 92064, shares . . .
. . . Envy. I have been committing this deadly sin less frequently during the pandemic simply because I have been at home. I used to covet plants that I saw while traveling to botanical gardens in South Africa and Australia and in natural landscapes around the Mediterranean. I, of course, had a different kind of envy for those living in the Pacific Northwest who could grow (grass is greener syndrome) plants I could not dream of growing. In my gardening lifetime many of the South African and Australian plants have become available locally. Others I coveted, like the roses, I ordered online. At the Roseraie de l’Haye outside Paris, I was smitten by the roses Parade and Mme. Isaac Pereire and in Turkey by the perfume of Damask.
The 28-year-old specimens still bloom profusely in the garden.
Cathy Tylka, 92026, asks the question . . .
. . . Help, does anyone know what this lovely, drought tolerant plant is?
The only picture I have is from the drainage ditch, outside Cannondale, Utah. I really want it!
Tere Trout of 91941, stated . . .
. . . I am totally envious of the beautiful shade house at Farmstand 67 nursery in Ramona. They have plants displayed so creatively! The owners are very friendly and knowledgeable too!
I am working on creating a little shade corner in my yard but still have a long way to go!
Alyse Ford, 92126, comments . . .
. . . I tend to love all gardens. I don’t really think I have garden envy; I have garden appreciation. My garden is special to me because it’s a natural looking garden that gets compliments throughout the year, although maybe not in summer so much. It’s basically drought tolerant, mixed with plants that need a little bit more water. I love my front yard epis.
Barbara Crawford mentions…
. . . I fell in love with a shoestring acacia tree, Acacia stenophylla, on a La Jolla Secret Garden Tour, and planted one by my front yard “pond” the next day. Suggesting willow, but drought-tolerant, it has proved to be a graceful, unusual tree, comfortable in my 92129 conditions. Its leaves become long brown strands on the ground, so take that into consideration if you seek it out.