Sunday, June 28, 2015

Secret Garden Update

Just a bit of an update for those inquiring minds who keep asking me how the project is coming along. First, please understand that this will be a slow, longterm project. It's something that I plan to only work in a few days a week, a little at a time. I'm seeing it as one of my fun creations. So I don't expect to be finished for a long time. So don't hold your breathe anticipating the end product. 

To help control my own over eagerness, I'm limiting myself to planting only one tiny spot 5 days a week. I know myself.....I could easily lose myself in this project and end up devoting an entire day to designing the footpaths, flower beds, and outdoor art. Gee, I'd get nothing else done. So like the sugar junkie that I am, I have to limit myself to one cookie a week, one dessert, one sweet drink.......and one small secret garden task for each of the weekdays. No more. 

Early on I planted some baby banana trees along one perimeter side. They all survived except one. Not bad. I also planted sweet potatoes as a ground cover there, a couple of cactus cuttings a got from a friend, a few pineapple tops, some ice plant cuttings, some wondering Jew, and cuttings of a bushy flowering plant that I don't know the name of. Everything but the one banana has made it. Then I started limiting how much time I would allow myself to work on this project. Since then I've put in a few shade loving bromeliads.....
They have been doing very well and have spread out some since planting. 

I took some cuttings from a coleus and stuck them into the ground, kept them watered daily, and now they've rooted. So far so good. 

Next in line was some Mexican oregano cuttings. These root extremely easily too. Just put them into the ground, keep moist, and they root in a couple of days. This plant grows well in shade. I planted them next to a cut off tree stump, so they will eventually grow up the stump and hide it.

Another shade lover is polka dot plant. I ripped a few up from another garden and transplanted them into the secret garden. They transplant quite readily. They can be invasive, so I have to ruthlessly rip out excess plants at least once a year to control them. No problem.......compost fodder.  :)

Hawaiian ti is another plant that tolerates shade. I took a number of cuttings from my mother's plants, removed all the leaves, and simply stuck them into the ground. Kept moist, they root fairly quickly. These rooted and have started pushing new leaves. 
This is another ti variety, leaves removed, it's difficult to see. But it's a dark purplish one. I just planted it so it isn't pushing leaves yet. I also put some sweet potato cuttings in for a ground cover. 

Sansevieria , aka mother-in-laws tongue. Another shade lover. Easy to transplant. 

A scented geranium called citronella. Also called the mosquito plant. Personally I haven't found it to be effective in repelling mosquitos but the foliage is interesting in itself. Mine will grow ok in semi shade, so I picked a spot that gets a bit of sun. It grows well from tip cuttings. 

This one I know as chicken gizzard plant. I put fresh cuttings right into the ground be watered them once a day. It didn't take long for them to root. 

Upcoming will be variegated pineapple, more coleus, bird nest fern, variegated ivy (one has to aggressively control this otherwise it invades everywhere), impatiens, and more types of bromeliads. On the perimeters that get more sun, I have waiting in the wings spider lily, aloe, green agave, variegated agave, blue agave, hibiscus, sweet potatoes as ground cover, pineapples, and plenty more bananas. Who knows what else I'll add. 

1 comment:

  1. whenever we go and we see house plants offered for sale I remark to my hubby Look Tropical Plants. When we went to the Oahu Waimea Canyon place it was remarkable how the teeny tiny offerings looked in natural setting all huge and lush. You Go Girl!