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Forum: Tropical Zone GardeningReplies: 34, Views: 268
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westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

July 3, 2010
8:09 AM

Post #7940167

hi my good friends!!
just want to know how all of you guys are doing here. i ahve been very busy for the last couple of months, so i know i have not posted much here. but i will be talking more here from now on. i am starting an exciting new project!! below our house, right on the beach front, there is a big holiday house of some friends of ours. they hired me to do the garden, so i am really excited about that! i started yesterday, but i will need a lot of advice. its soooo close to the ocean, not much grows there. do you guys think heather would do well with the ocean spray and wind?
let me know how you all doing!!!!!
((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))))
isaac

edited to add 'not'

This message was edited Jul 5, 2010 1:33 PM
Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

July 3, 2010
1:52 PM

Post #7940785

Hi, Isaac! There are lots of salt tolerant plants here, have you cruised around looking at the waterfront, or close? I grew a Flamboyant, Royal Poinsienna right at a water's edge once.

Nice to see you posting,

Melissa
pepper23
KC Metro area, MO
(Zone 6a)

July 4, 2010
6:38 PM

Post #7943558

Hi Issac!! Sounds like you got a great job!!! Lucky you!! :~)
westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

July 5, 2010
2:30 AM

Post #7944007

hi melissa and pepper!!
i have looked around, but what really is bad around here is the strong winds, not always the salt air. i also only have a limited variety of plants that my employers like, so that also makes it a bit more difficult. they really like bougainvillea, but i don't know if that will do well there. What do you guys think? also wedelia, i think that might be another option. please feel free to suggest anything!!
pepper, it is a big job, i started on it this morning, but i am soooooo excited!! and i am thoroughly enjoying it!
Braveheartsmom
Hillsborough , NC
(Zone 7a)

July 5, 2010
8:37 AM

Post #7944652

Aloha Isaac,

Congrats on the new job - how big is the garden that you will be tending?

Be prepared for a lot of mess from Bougies with the wind blowing - but they are tough and very colorful all year long. They grow huge here and I just hate it when I have to cut them back, so very prickly and hard to deal with!

Will you have to keep the ocean views open with your new planting, or are you looking for more of a barrier? Any sand erosion to deal with?

westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

July 5, 2010
11:15 AM

Post #7945040

Hi Jen!
the garden isn't very big, just challenging!
yes, i have to keep ocean views open, so i can't plant high growing plants, an yes, i do have an erosion problem, because its on a slope.
if i can find bougainvillea, i will definitely use them. i don't mind the thorns, i am used to pruning them. i want to use a certain purple variety which doesn't grow too large, and it flowers profusely. i am going to plant Heather as well, see if that survives. and also spiderlilies. i know their flowers will be damaged by the wind, but their foilage is pretty too. i will post a picture of the house, and i'l take some soon of the garden.
take care,
isaac

oh, never mind the picture, its not on this computer. i will take some tomorow and post them!!
pepper23
KC Metro area, MO
(Zone 6a)

July 5, 2010
5:50 PM

Post #7945910

Issac, here is a link with a few ideas for salt tolerant plants. Hopefully this gives you some more ideas. :~)

http://landscaping.about.com/od/landscapingproblems1/a/salt_tolerant.htm
westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

July 5, 2010
11:31 PM

Post #7946541

thanks pepper, i will check it out this afternoon!
tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 6, 2010
1:03 AM

Post #7946564

Not wrong about bougainvilleas being tough. Not even a nuclear blast would shift them. The nurseries here are pushing a variety they call "Bambino" which is small and flowers prolifically. You might find that sort of plant available in SA rather than locally.

Another which grows well on the coast is Crinum pedunculatum. I've seen it growing wild on beaches with a lot of salt spray and occasional waves breaking on them in rough weather. Another is Debdrobium discolor, a beautiful orchid growing along beaches, even in sand and coral gravels, and hit with a lot of salt spray.

Also take a look around the Tropical Plants forum here on DG:
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/tropicals/all/

You might be able to get some hints from there as well.

Crinum pedunculatum

Thumbnail by tropicbreeze
Click the image for an enlarged view.

tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 6, 2010
1:07 AM

Post #7946565

There's also a yellow (leaves) form and variegated form.

A variegated form.

Thumbnail by tropicbreeze
Click the image for an enlarged view.

tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 6, 2010
1:11 AM

Post #7946566

Dendrobium discolor together with Crinum pedunculatum growing along the back of a beach. There's also a Cycad there on the right.

Thumbnail by tropicbreeze
Click the image for an enlarged view.

tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 6, 2010
1:13 AM

Post #7946567

Dendrobium discolor flowers

Thumbnail by tropicbreeze
Click the image for an enlarged view.

tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 6, 2010
1:15 AM

Post #7946568

Single flower close up

Thumbnail by tropicbreeze
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

July 6, 2010
6:00 PM

Post #7948422

What a wacko orchid, I like it.
extranjera
Mérida, Yucatán
Mexico
(Zone 11)

July 6, 2010
7:11 PM

Post #7948588

Crinium also grows right on the sand here along both the Gulf and Caribbean coasts. We have a similar dendrobian orchid that is native but I haven't seen it actually on the sand, they grow in trees that are a little protected.
tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 6, 2010
7:49 PM

Post #7948692

Extranjera, Dendrobiums aren't native to the Americas, so probably it's a cultivated plant that's "escaped" and spread out. Their seeds are very fine and wind blown.
extranjera
Mérida, Yucatán
Mexico
(Zone 11)

July 7, 2010
11:04 AM

Post #7950059

I got lazy and didn't go look for the name but you are of course right. The one that grows here is I believe Myrmecophila tibicinis, but it has a very similar look to the bloom and I just didn't go look. I have all these names written down but I'm not very good at remembering them if I don't look. Here's a pic of our native orchid, it grows on trees just off the beach but sheltered from spray and heavy salt. This one is in my yard and it is about to bloom again someday. The long branch the blooms come from is about 3' now but it gets very long usually before they bloom.

Thumbnail by extranjera
Click the image for an enlarged view.

tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 7, 2010
2:41 PM

Post #7950498

I'm the same with names, and worse still sometimes I forget to write them down.

That Myrmecophila tibicinis looks great. The name "Myrmecophila" suggests a relationship with ants.
extranjera
Mérida, Yucatán
Mexico
(Zone 11)

July 7, 2010
4:46 PM

Post #7950792

Yes, in the wild they have a symbiotic relationship with the ants. Ants live in the hollow stems of the orchid and keep other predators away. The liquid they produce on the bloom stem is something the ants eat. Here at my house, I interrupted that relationship because I didn't want the ants on the terrace. Well, I try anyway, it's actually a losing battle.
tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 7, 2010
7:48 PM

Post #7951251

There's an old saying something like "You work with nature and while you're sleeping nature completes your work. Work against nature and while you're sleeping nature undoes your work."
westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

July 13, 2010
10:06 AM

Post #7965198

Hi everyone, i jus quickly scaned this thread, our internet was off for a whole week, so annoying. will write again tomorrow, and post pics of the area.
isaac

lourspolaire

lourspolaire
Delray Beach, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 23, 2010
7:10 AM

Post #7990478

I can't wait until you do, Isaac.

Sylvain.
Braveheartsmom
Hillsborough , NC
(Zone 7a)

July 24, 2010
3:00 PM

Post #7993748

Lovely pictures of the orchids.

Still waiting for pictures of your new garden Isaac - I hope you are taking before and after's.!
westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

July 29, 2010
4:02 AM

Post #8003860

Hi everyone,
you must all think i am horrible!! if you watched international news recently, you'll see that the fibre-optical-cable near us was broken, so we had no internet again, for almost 2 weeks.
Jen, unfortunately i didn't take before pics, my camera didn't have fresh batteries when i wanted to and i forgot afterwards. :(
but i'm going down there in a while, will take pics and see if they come out ok. i think i'l post them tonight.
i already have another gardening job lined up, phew, keeping me busy!!!
isaac
Texasgal77
Baytown, TX
(Zone 9a)

August 1, 2010
8:40 PM

Post #8012302

Tropicbreeze, you said, "There's an old saying something like "You work with nature and while you're sleeping nature completes your work. Work against nature and while you're sleeping nature undoes your work."

That saying is so very true...especially trying to grow tropicals here in Tx...This past winter certainly undid my efforts...all of my hibiscus still have not come back, lost half of my plumeries...even lost three of my hardy hibiscis. I resorted to buying some artificial orchids for my patio! They are so colorful and cheery and don't even have to be watered or fed...and they won't die! It also keeps the bees off of the patio!

Isaac, good luck! I know you will do a great job! Can't wait to see the pictures!
Jeanne
westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

August 5, 2010
4:03 AM

Post #8019651

oh my goodness, my 'tonight' is apparently a week later!!! so sorry about that! but i finally have the pics on this computer, and i can start posting.
below is the slope i have trouble with:

Thumbnail by westraad
Click the image for an enlarged view.

westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

August 5, 2010
4:05 AM

Post #8019653

here's the side of the house:

Thumbnail by westraad
Click the image for an enlarged view.

westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

August 5, 2010
4:08 AM

Post #8019656

on the left of the bottom picture, i planted a bunch of crotons (still quite small) with heather and daisies as welll amaryllises.
before it was just grass everywhere, which didn't look to great either.
i gotta run, have to go do school.
i have to work out a quotation this week for a garden someone wants me to do. its quite big, at a guesthouse! excited about it, but also wondering when i am going to find time to do it?????
lol, see you all later, i'l post more pics soon
isaac
katiebear
mulege
Mexico

August 7, 2010
10:56 AM

Post #8025001

Although I have ready postings to the contrary I have found that pomegranates grow and produce well in salty, alkalaine soil. I have just started a bunch from seed. They grow fairly fast and have pretty flowers as well as yummy fruit. Good tropical/subtropical plant.

Tony brought in our first mango today. They also do well here. While it is said that avacadoes won't grow in salty soil but my neighbors have two that produce. I suspect they were started from seeds where they grow now.

Asparagus does well in salty soil and has very deep roots. There might be places that you can use it for erosion control.

My newest erosion control plant is vetiver. I got my information and plants at www.theherbcottage.com. So far my plants are doing well.

I have several other fruit trees that are into their second summer here. I even have an apple!!

Good luck.

katie

P.S. I want some wild orchids. The caretaker where I used to live stole all my orchid plants. But he got murdered so I can't stay mad at him.
westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

August 8, 2010
3:08 AM

Post #8026102

Thanks Katie, will definitely take a look at all the plants you mentioned! very true what you said about pomogranates, a lot of people have them here and we live right next to the ocean. i actually forgot about them, but will try to find some!
too bad about your orchids! i am no good with orchids, i tried befor but with no luck!
isaac
katiebear
mulege
Mexico

August 8, 2010
8:00 AM

Post #8026441

Don't forget plumarias.

kb
westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

August 9, 2010
4:38 AM

Post #8028257

oh goodness, of course not! i already have a nice one in which i bought from a local lady, and i'm going to get plant another one, but i'l do a cutting.
i love plumerias, they smell sooooooooo good!!!
Texasgal77
Baytown, TX
(Zone 9a)

August 9, 2010
8:01 PM

Post #8030282

That is a beautiful area, Isaac! I'm sure you did a good job!
stellamarina
Laie, HI

August 9, 2010
11:03 PM

Post #8030554

bougainvillias are very tough plants but in a strong salt wind can lose their leaves and flowers which will come back again after the winds are finished.
westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

August 9, 2010
11:57 PM

Post #8030613

That is what i figured, Stella, so i have decided to use indignous creepers, which will handle the wind better.
Thanks Jeanne!

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