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!!!!!
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!
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?
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.
oh, never mind the picture, its not on this computer. i will take some tomorow and post them!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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!
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
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!!
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.
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!