Friday, 4 July 2008

Red Rain

My flamboyant has outdone itself this year and it is covered in flowers. This is perhaps the most redeeming thing about my garden in July. While I know my garden is happy for the rain, I can't say the same for me. Rain in the tropics conjures images of lush, verdant green - and I would use it metaphorically as well - but in reality, it's humid and bleak when it rains for days on end. But at the moment I am enjoying a red rain of flamboyant blossoms on my lawn, which almost makes rainy July worthwhile. The flamboyant is also known as flame tree or royal poinciana. This close up of the flower shows why it is likened to a flame.
According to Wikepdia Delonix regia is a species of flowering plant from the Fabaceae family, noted for its fern-like leaves and flamboyant display of flowers. Often grown as an ornamental tree and given the name Royal Poinciana or Flamboyant, it is also known as Krishnachura, Gulmohar, Peacock Flower, Flame of the Forest, Malinche[1], and one of several named the Flame tree. The species was previously placed in a genus Poinciana, named for Phillipe de Longviliers de Poincy who is credited with introducing the plant to the Americas.
Thanks Phillipe. There is a yellow variety that I would love to get but these trees need lots of space and I simply don't have the room to grow another one.

This is another shot of red in my largely green landscape. Tapeinochilus Ananassae (Indonesian Wax Ginger) has proved to be a surprisingly robust addition. It catches easily by piece and the flowers last for such a long time that I am almost tempted to cut to bring into the house which I almost never do. I often buy flowers at the market because I can't bear to lose the colour in my garden. This flower is stiff and hard, not soft and pliable like the shampoo gingers. It belong to the Zingiberaceae family so it is a member of the large ginger tribe.

I think I have cracked the Double Chaconia code. It is one hungry plant. It likes to be fed weekly, if not more often. At the moment, I am fertilizing the entire garden every Monday with a Phosphogen and I took the chance this week and added some potash as I often have to force blooming as my garden is so shady. We shall we what happens! The Sexy Orange is in. I am enjoying it because unlike all the others that I have- Sexy Pink, Sexy Red, Rostrata.... this is the only one that blooms only from May to September, like clockwork.
My husband Ross received a much covetted Sexy Yellow that was grown from seed. Excitement!!