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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.

Lisa says, "This plumeria was named for me!"

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.


Mme. Isaac Pereire.


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!

Farmstand 67 nursery greenhouse in Ramona.


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.


Cathy Tylka, RN, retired Emergency Nurse, found her love of plants and the SDHS merge many years ago. Cathy acted as Treasurer for the organization and volunteer for many activities. Now, more than happy to assist in gathering questions to ask you in the Sharing Secrets area of the Newsletter.


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