Saturday, 2 March 2013

March in the Garden

Jade Bower
It's easy to forget how the country changes when the dry season sets in. I see it immediately in the garden. My Jade Vine has surpassed it self this year. The blooms are fighting each other to get down and open up. We don't have spring in the Caribbean but there is certainly a birds and bees feeling in the air as both are busy pollinating.

Close up the colours have a hint of mauve in them

This is not the only thing in full bloom, I've moved my "Princess Vine" onto my porch and she's very happy there which makes me happy. This little vine is a treasure but is very prone to mites. I monitor almost constantly by checking the undersides of the leaves. Here she can enjoy our chat on the gallery and I hope really begin to thrive.

Princess Vine or Ipomoea Horsfalliae

This blog has some very interesting infomation on this plant which seems to grow quite easily in other parts of the Caribbean. It twines quite easily and the glossy leaves are a good contrast to the red flower. Even the buds are attractive as they cluster on the stem.

Buds on the Princess Vine enjoying morning sun

 The little bluebell plant is one that I remember clearly from childhood. My mother had a planter full of them and the whole thing would die back and then miraculously appear for a few months each year. I remember being fascinated with the velvety indigo on the lip and trying to rub the colour onto my cheeks. I'm so happy to see it popping up again this year in my own garden.
Little blue bell

 The Red Hawaiian Torch is one of the stars of my garden. It is dramatic, large, and very much a primadonna. And the hummingbirds love these flowers. Once there are two or three clumps of torches in any space, hummingbirds are bound to show up. I've hung my feeders not far from the flower so often they make the quick flight over the feeders. The torches attract hermits with their longer beaks. Flower and bird designed to work together.
Red Hawaiian Torch
I spend my life pulling duck weed out of the copper. It multiplies at an alarming rate. Really alarming. But it does keep the water nice and cool and clean. It's also very pretty. But the tipping point is very rapid. It's beautiful one day, an absolute menace the next. I wish the fish would eat it but they don't. I scoop it out and throw it into my beds as compost. It seems to get on well with the lotus pads as well, not interfering too much and everyone seeming to understand how to co-exist. The only interlopers are the snails who are voracious and eat anything young and tender such as baby lilies. I am on the lookout for an equally voracious fish who has the reputation of being the great snail slayer.
Duck weed
 My lilies are in bloom and I've discovered that the whole head falls off, sinks to the bottom and soon becomes a little cluster of new plants. Who would have thought? The bees and wasp love the blooms and spend their days rolling around in an ecstasy of delight. I am at a loss as to what they could be so blissfully pollinating but the garden never fails to surprise so maybe they are simply making themselves more attractive to potential suitors.