The African Blood Lilly with large red globe shaped blooms, resembling a very soft brush or a pincushion even, arrives unannounced, saying Look At Me and quietly takes centre stage. Splashes of brilliant red tinged with gold throughout our Tropical Garden signals to me that Christmas is on it's way. The bulbs which grow quite large if left alone, lie dormant beneath the ground for most of the year, some lush green leaves appear and then if the weather conditions are to their liking, the flower bursts into song in early Summer. We have had ideal weather this year for tropical bulbs, with rain showers, cloudy conditions and not too much heat just yet. However if you live in a frost prone region, these bulbs are not for you.
The nice thing is that other bulbs such as the gorgeous Caladiums, are also erupting now with large Triffid like leaves and challenging the Blood Lilly for centre stage. They flower a few times a year though and once again are quite forgotten when not in bloom. I am quietly amazed at how they have spread throughout our gardens, front and back, an indication I suppose of regular transplanting and rearranging and enjoyable activity in our garden. Both of these bulbs are available to be purchased online depending on where you live, however if you know an avid gardener and you live in the Tropics or sub-tropics, you probably know someone who grows them and would be happy to give you a couple of bulbs. That is what gardening is all about.
The Caladium leaves also last for a long time in a vase inside the house, bringing a lot of colour and accent wherever they are. A very large vase is needed though to emphasise just how long the stems are and the size of the leaves. They are show stoppers.
This photo below is a very old Vanda orchid plant which has just flowered, and I wish you could smell the fragrance from where you are. It was one of my Mum's and I don't remember it flowering before and I like to know their names. However this one has eluded me as Mum kept a diary of her orchids but I can't find a description that matches this one. So if anyone by chance reading this recognises this orchid, I would appreciate hearing from you.
Speaking of tropical, after a recent drive to Camilleri's roadside shop on the way to Sarina which sells produce from local growers, we arrived home with the most delicious lychees at only $10.00 a kilo, Bowen mangoes for $12.00 a bucket, delicious rough leaf pineapples (which are the best) for $2.50 each. The eggplant are from our garden. Sorry Woolworths, can you match that for quality and price?
This photo also includes a vase of Gardenia blooms from our tree. They are just starting to yellow slightly but fill the house with the most beautiful fragrance. Why spend money on cut flowers when there are so many flowers that are easy to grow and last very well inside. I love a vase of fresh flowers in the house, don't you?
Don't you just love this time of year? Mr. HRK makes an outstanding fruit salad and there are plenty of candidates waiting to be chopped up and put in the dessert bowl. Fresh is definitely best.
Have a great week everyone.