Tuesday, 17 July 2007

The Grand Dames of the Tropics

Let us never forget the age old staples of the Caribbean garden. Yes, they are a bit cliched but really is there anything more tropical than the hibiscus or the ixora? Did you pull out the petals to get to the nectar in the star shaped petals when you were young? Every Caribbean child of a certain era did. Of course, that was before everyone began spraying with gramoxone! I'm so glad to see the resurgence of the hibiscus. We nearly lost all of ours in the island to mealy bug. The Ministry of Agriculture very cleverly used a defense tactic of releasing ladybugs which feed on the mealybug. This has helped the situation considerably but we still find pockets every now and then. The Samaan trees were also significantly affected and we lost not a few of these magnificent beauties.
Once again, I'm appealing to anyone who knows the names of these ladies, can you post them for me? I would love to know their stage names.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

I love those pics. Yes,old standbys from our childhood, ixora and hibiscus. I have a trick if you want to use hibiscus in a bud vase for dinner: pick the buds the morning before they open, wrap in damp tissue and keep in the fridge. takeout at evening and put in bud vase and they will open. Do a dry run and see if it works!
Check out my herb/salad post. I find it strange that people in Trinidad don't grow herbs like basil or salad greens except or lettuce. If you want to do a a herb and salad garden let me know, I can mail you lots of seeds!