My 'love affair' with tropicals this year happened quite by accident! After the terrarium class I taught a couple of weeks ago, in partnership with SufficientlySuffonsified, I found myself with more than a few plants on my hands after the event. I ended up buying too many, but can you blame any gardener for that?
Even though my family is more than tolerant with regards to my gardening business and love of plants, both indoors and out, even I had to admit that there were just too many 4" potted plants sitting around idle, on the kitchen counter and dining room table.
So, I had a brainstorm... Why not plant some of them outside? Tropical plants can certainly be be used outdoors as ornamental plants, at least up until frost in the fall, and since I haven't been to the garden centre for my annuals as of yet, and the old 'green thumb' was itching to do something creative, that's exactly what I did. Above I've planted several varieties including a couple Dizygotheca elegantissima, (in the centre), two Coffee plants, (on either side), and even a Polka dot plant. Considering the fact that I think coffee is the nectar of the gods, (even more than wine), I have to chuckle at growing coffee, not that I think I'll actually be harvesting any beans come autumn, but it's nice to know I'm so close to the source. ; )
Shamefully, I don't even know what this variety is as they didn't have tags in them when I spotted them, (if you do, please don't hesitate to share), but I knew they'd look great in one of the hypertufa containers I made last summer, and planting 3 of the same variety created quite a visual impact, so I may have to pot up a few more containers for other spots in the garden.
Here's another view of one of my outdoor containers. I normally grow herbs in it, but I've moved them somewhere else in the garden..(Another post to come). The container is sitting in a vintage wire holder that came to me from my Grandma's house. I should paint it, but I like that rusty colour, and it's still sturdy and in pretty good shape.
I did keep a few plants for a basket on our dining room table. In reality, these are plants that will tolerate low light, and I'll likely use them to make a few more terrariums in the near future, but for now, the display is working for me. They also clean and purify the air in one's home, so form and function is always in style!
I'm happy to use these smaller sized plants as more of an accent in the garden than as big focal points, but that's fine for now.
In the near future I'm considering purchasing a couple 10" pots, perhaps with dracaena's for our front porch containers and mixing them with begonias and some trailing plants, just for something different this year.
So, don't be afraid to mix it up a bit. In reality, a 4" tropical plant is no more expensive than a annual plug in those little black containers and goes just as far throughout the season!
Thanks for visiting and happy gardening!