Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Roadside update

I planted hibiscus along the road at the front of the property some 12 years ago. They grew nicely for a few years and then began to look scraggly and deteriorate. Mealy bugs attacked them and several times I had to cut them back severely. They looked awful for several years and one day after getting tired of glaring at them every time I passed I decided to something about it.  So in 2009 with the assistance of my garden helper we dug them out!

I had several Christmas palms in pots and several frangipani pudica.

Voila! The results three years later with thirty nine palms and frangipani.
 A  prettier view for all who drive along this road.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Landscape challenge part 2

 As promised I am about to show the back and sides of the property of this landscaping challenge and what it looked like before and after.
This is the front side and since yellow is the favorite colour of the client, I fell in love with these yellow threads (alternathera). I used them as a border to the front of the bed and inserted some ground orchids yellow and purple I then added some blue salvia and thunbergia erecta in the back ground. I planted some fish tail ferns at the side of the front entry to the house.

 The planter at the front entrance contained the air conditioning  unit that I wanted to disguise some what and still make it accessible. Fish tail ferns border the side entry and rice ferns edge the planter front. A foxtail palm was centrally placed to add some height while oxblood heliconias  and walking irises frame both sides of the AC unit. Shrimp plants and some acalypha firestorm fill the area around the palm tree. The lower planter contains bignonia rosea.
 The front entry has some green and yellow alternathera as a border with star jasmine and spiny dracena in the background. The alternathera border extends downwards meeting the walkway border of yellow and white lantana.
 The back of the property was very challenging, it was very windy and very hot with absolutely no shade at all.  Two kidney shaped beds were planted with palm trees and giant roheos.
 Pittorsporums were planted on the perimeter as a privacy fence.

 Golden crinums were planted along the back patio walls with some yellow and green pseudoranthemums, pink tip cordylines tied in with the wooden finishes in the patio.

 Here yellow threads fill the front of the bed of the golden crinums, pink tip cordylines and oxblood heliconias make up the background. The planter at the contains alocasias while a garlic vine snakes up the side of the pergola.

The wind and the sun were brutal in the first few weeks when this garden was installed. Frequent daily watering was essential to get the plants acclimatized and when the rains came they shot up as if they were on steroids.

   The client's favorite colour was yellow and as you can see much of it is repeated around the garden.

 A paver patio area was installed for a Gazebo or pergola  that will be added at a later date.
 Kidney shaped islands planted with palm trees and giant roheos break up the large expanse of grass, while a lime and mango tree were installed nearby.

 Portulaca borders the golden palms while gingers border the pool wall.

Paving stones provide easy walking to the back patio and pool area.
 Yes it was challenging and rewarding creating this garden space, working around water and drain pipes poorly installed near the surface proved very difficult and dictated the types of plants I had to use that would pose little or no danger to them. I will be tweaking some areas from time to time and I will keep updating you as the garden matures. Have a great weekend my friends.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Landscape challenge

 Another recently completed project that was challenging because of its windy location.
Large rock were used to edge the planting bed and Thunbergia erecta added a a blast of purple to the greenery.
Coral Antigua heath  rusellia equisetiformis dominated the side of the slope and acts as a soil stabilizer.
Dark blue Plumbago was used as a filler around the Christmas palm trees

Large rocks were used to edge the side of the slope to prevent soil loss in the event of heavy rains. Bignonia rosea creeper was planted on both sides at the entrance of the driveway.

Yellow and white dwarf Lantana edge the driveway and pathway to the house. In my next post I will feature the back and sides of the house.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wedding belles

 Last month I attended the wedding of the daughter of a close school friend in Orlando Florida.
It was an unforgettable wedding, the best I have ever been to (not that I get invited to many).
 The beautiful Bride wore a stunning gown and looked like a princess next to her handsome prince.
 The proud mom, my friend Antoinette who looked radiant and blissfully happy on this special day. We have known each other since we were 12 years old.
 The atrium setting was perfect for the reception.
 The first dance
The first toast
 The proud father dancing with the bride
 Cutting the cake
 The guests included my daughter Lauren 3rd right enjoying themselves in a group dance.
Of course I had to check out the gardens in the atrium. The giant spathiphyllums were stunning, I am used to only seeing the smaller ones.

The plants were lush under controlled temperatures in the atrium.
Kalanchoes adding some ground cover colour  while the bread fruit leaf fern  (wart fern) and the philodendron cling to the rocks in the background.
Here the deep pink mandevilla is used as a ground cover.
These giant spathiphyllums were showing off their amazing blooms everywhere.
The alligators and turtles basking in the sunshine were all part of the gardens.
The beautiful heart shaped leaves of this alocasia caught my attention.
Aglaonemas, Kalanchoes, and wart fern (bread fruit leaf ) filled the sides of this path. Congratulations  to the bride and groom Stephanie and Marcus, wishing them happiness throughout their marriage.