This summer was one of the busiest. The Garden has always been nick named "The Jungle" and it became officially known as Jungle Heights. This neighborhood is Historic Heights, so it just fell into place.
It was one of the rainiest summers on record here, in fact the weather could have had one fooled into thinking they were in Central America, not Houston. Despite the constant rain, Jungle Heights was the location of a Houston Area plant swap that attracted DG members from all over Texas. It was such a blast. So many people showed up, that the entire 10ths street block was nothing but DG member cars. We had a pot luck, then swapped plants, went on a tour of Zone9Tropicals.com (they're down the street) . Individual forrays were conducted during the afternoon and we all rendezvoued for a wine tasting. The bonus, it didn't rain that afternoon!
The morning usually starts with me staring out the french doors to view the garden.
This looks over the hot tub towards the pond and seating area.
The deck is bordered by a rail, but rarely seen because of the plants! One stairway goes to the lower garden and pond, one goes to the back driveway and garage, and the 750 sq foot deck as entrances to the bedroom, and the living room. The deck really IS my living room.
This is the garden headquarters. Seating area that currently hosts the orchids and bromeliads. The entier deck surface and decorations change with the seasons, because the sun exposure also changes. The statue is called a Tepannom, from Chiang Mai Thailand...
Believe it or not, this patch of jungle hosts the deck stairs into the lower garden. Tall shell gingers on the left. On the right a giant Clerodendrum Ugandense, with a Cross vine over head that I actually trained up into the tree by using a chain.
The garden in front of the house features a small pond, but blended beneath the vine ladders so you really don't notice water there...That way I can incorporate the great texture of papayras..or how ever its spelled.
Yes ...it is..I about fell over when I found them, as I made the stinky tea...and there was all wrapped up in one...
houston fertilzer is where I got it...their web side is gardengeek.com
not sure if they list it on there or not since it comes in 40 lb bags
It's called "earth essentials"
Yesterday I saw a squirrel who's behaviour made my eyebrows raise, and sent me careening out into the garden after him. This guy had willful intent on some vine destruction! Not just any vine mind you, it is Hawaiin wood rose vine I started from seeds I brought back from Kauai Botanical Research gardens. You could tell that the vine was irritating the heck out of him...and he grabed it and was yanking on it with all is squirrel might. Right now is peak wood vine activity as it is a winter bloomer, and while I may never see blooms from it, this is the most promise it's shown to date. Before I helped that little guy find out what he's going to be in the next life...I just put netting around the Castor been giant tree that hosts the wood rose. Matter of fact in this post http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=4047240 you if you look to the top of the picture you can see the vine hanging down.
I know by nature squirrels dig things up, but it's just a usually unintended by product of storing winter food...but this...eeewww...anyone else witness this behavior?
I'ld be after him too! My Mom has daylilies under a Chinaberry Tree, and I had set seed pods on several last year! Some pesky little squirrel ate them...left the empty pods and my tags on the ground nearby! I was so mad!
that has always been a dream ..to build an arboretum...In the mean time I hear there is a new one here in town I have to go check out.
Yes, Jeanne is going to help me thin out plants...winter is coming, and I have no more real estate left, although I am eyeing the front yard...
When you plant by seeds - there are all those extras...then there was the plant swap..and there was a big load of plants left.
Then there are the cuttings..
It's a growing labratory, and sometimes I don't think I'm that prepared for success!
And these clerodendrums...even the philippinum - grew over 6 feet..they are all space hogs ..
Very nice tour through your jungle, rj. Man, you sure can grow a lot of plants in Houston. A real inspiration for me to start my own when I get there. My brother, who lives in the area only grows what apprears to be crab grass in his yard. That will all change if I have my way. I'll start him with a plant or two and maybe a seed will be planted in his head. teehee
Glad to be all of the assistance that I can! We aim to please! Just consider our yard an extention of the Jungle Heights! LOL Mi casa es su casa...su flores es mi flores!!!!! Mi Amigo! I will be very glad to take care of any extras that need a home! Gracias Senor!
RJ your garden takes my breath away! So lush and gorgeous! Now, I know a similar look can be achieved using containers...I've seen it...but I just don't seem to have the knack of combination. Your garden is my inspiration...heck i LIVE in the tropics! I SHOULD be able to do that! That pellet you talked about sounds perfect - but 40 lbs?! I wonder if they sell it in any smaller amounts for shipping purposes? I am going to check out gardengeek.com!
I had a running battle with the squirrels up in Colorado. One (or more, who knows) got so mad at me for putting capsasin in the bird feeder that he litterally chewed up one of my patio chairs! I was always finding things chewed or broken...they are smart and mean!
Thanks Shari, at first I had to garden like that because the back had 2 more tree's shading the garden, and so I moved the containers around with the sun throughout the year..I had one tree removed, and Hurricane Rita had the other one (in my neighbors yard) removed. I felt bad for him because it was a 100 year old pecan tree, that his kids swung in growing up..It split in two, one half grazing the corner of his house, the other half landing right in between our houses (in my back driveway). Even though it landed on my car and took out the fence, it mostly missed the house. When we opened the blinds to the bedroom, the branches were litteraly resting on the windows!
.it's a bit crowded and that is why Jeanne is going to come over and lighten the load. My next lesson in the labratory garden is going to be landscaping. I did begin the transition this year, but the rain this summer sort of slowed that process down.
Re the pellets, I always have a bag of that around, I suppose I could put some in a freezer bag and mail it? it is good for the potted plants.
I have to go tidy up after work tonight...Jeanne will be there tomorrow to pick up plants...I told her to plan more trips..I'll probably be tossing plants in her trunk when she's not looking..LOL!
Well Rj ...I was off to bed at midnight...until I stumbled across Jungle Heights!...your jungle is beautiful ...tropical ...romantic...just stunning!...you know when I look at yours I hear soft Island music...I love my Jungle ...however when I look at mine I hear Tarzan calling! and Elephants stampeding...not exactly what I planned... but I love it's wildness anyway...your jungle is a dream...how does it feel to live in a dream? congratulations!
you and Tm and a handful of other Tropical enthusiasts...super heroes the lot of you!
rj - your jungle is AMAZING - and I am suffering from 'jungle envy'. I really know what you mean about 'no such thing as a small _ "...you fill in the blanks. Heavy pruning going on here too!!!!! And chopping the bloomed gingers down to add more soil and fert...if not they become the plant that at Cleveland.
Carol, it is ever bit as AMAZING in person! Just breathtaking! So tranquil and relaxing! It is a wonderful garden! Randy is such a wonderful host, and so generous! The garden art is phenomenal! A wonful display of beauty both in plants and art! Totally Amazing!
Randy, DS and I had such a fine visit. It was fantastic! Thank you for everything! It was great! Thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon!! Thank you so much!!!!! Hope to see you again!
I hope your lovely plants like it in my yard as well as they do yours! LOL
The pictures say it all! Gorgeous! Randy is just adorable. So friendly, has a wonderful since of humor, so kind and thoughtful. It was raining when we first got there, so we sat and visited. The rain lightened up and we were able to tour the garden. We went out on the deck and looked onto the pond. It is just so tranquil, just so peacefull. You forget that you are in the middle of Houston.
You are just in awe of the heights of the plants in the Heights! Unbelievable! Then we walked thru the garden and Randy explained to me what each one was. There is such a lovely rock path thru the garden (I want one). Everything is so lush. So healthy, green, tall! Truly amazing! We rounded out our tour. Randy had alot of plants ready to be adopted. So we loaded the car and bid farewell, and came home.
It was such a lovely afternoon! Randy is just a wonderful gardener and host. He is so generous and kind and thoughtful! Just a sweetheart! We really had a good time. He's a dear! He is so knowledgeable about each plant he has. I will forever be asking questions. He is so kind to share his wisdom and knowledge! Hopefully a friend forever!
My goodness, such praise! RJ, are you blushing dear? Can't let DH read these last couple of posts, or he would never agree to go visit such an icon! Ha Ha! Bet Mike might have some problems in that area as well! Well, Mike and JB can commiserate together while Christi and I pommel Randy with all the questions we will have about how you grow such gorgeous plants! Should be interesting!
RJ...what a beautiful tropical garden!!
You were talking about that squirrel, and it made me laugh and remember something one of our DG members said on the ORVG Coffeebreak thread. She recently acquired this parrot, and is just learning what all he can say. His name is Ozzie. I will copy and paste what she wrote the other day about him and a squirrel. So funny!!
"Got a good laugh out of ole Oz man first thing this morning...One of the squirrels got a peanut out of the dish, and brought it down the slope near the door to bury it...Oz saw him and started screaming **PUT THAT BACK!!*** Scared the bejimminies out of the poor squirrel and he hauled tail over the woodpile...Must have scared him real good, cause he hasn't been back yet..LOL "
I laughed myself silly! I could just see that bird scaring that squirrel!
He may have scared him away for good!
aah..thanks guys...I am blushing.
I had jam packed garden chuming weekend. When Jeanne arrived Saturday, it poured for a little while, then we got to touring and plant chat. We had a great visit, and then wrangled some plants into the car. Alot of them were rather large..Jeanne is a sweety.
After she left, I re-arranged the west portion to maximize the changing sun exposure.
Sunday was burgers over at a friends house who has an internet plant business, and there was a small gathering of plant enthusiasts. It's fun going over to Waynes house because the back yard is where the green house and all the plants are at, so we all inspect everything and delight in the fall blooms of exotic plants.
Since I live down the street everyone wanted to come by and tour the garden, so I said give me 10 mins and ran home to tidy the squirrel dammage (loved the squirrel story) of nuts and leaves. We had a great time, it was fun watching them run around checking it all out. We're all alike when we see new gardens, we have to see every corner!
One of the gentlemen that I had met at Waynes previously has an astounding garden, and to boot he is an accomplished artist. We are going to be visiting his garden in a couple of weeks. I think we need a botanary term for hanging out in the garden..like gardenizing or something like that.. Anyway I think you guys will enjoy his web site as much as I do...! http://mikenature.com/
Seems like alot of us here like the Jungle theme!
This weekend we are headed to another Jungle, Jerrys Jungle where he has a sale 3 times a year, and I obtain my rarer plants. All of us are meeting up there next weekend. http://jerrysjungle.com/
Yes, some of those plants were kind of big...yep they were! Boy was I surprised! But we managed! They all look pretty good. It didn't torture them too bad putting them in the car! Thanks Randy! I really do appreciated it!
I really enjoyed the tour of your awesome jungle. Seeing it in person in the spring, and then again this summer, was even better. Good Lord it's grown so much, even since then!
Hubby walked in the room while I was looking at your tour and asked what the spidery plant in the front yard, by the clero's was. Looks like wispy papyrus tops. He was admiring them. He said your jungle was incredible. (truly high praise from him) I can't believe he was admiring those papyrus though because they've been trying to take over one corner of my yard close to my house for 2 years now. He's chopped and chopped and yet they still keep returning. He's dug them up and he always leaves just a bit. I think he secretly loves them and leaves that last bit just to torment me!
I need to set you straight on something though. It wasn't me that made the topiary lizard, but Connie (maidentheshade). She's the topiary queen around here.
Many folks around here think Connie and I are twins. We aren't.
Yes I can't wait! I dearly love brugs! So RJ is a God-send. Literally answered prayer. I prayed. :"Lord, if you want me to have more flowers you'll just have to send them" and HE DID! I am so excited! And I have a mentors to help me take care of them. (Professor) R. J. Harrison, and his associates...YEAH! LOL
Being a beginner gardener this is like a touch of heaven on earth! Thank you Lord for using RJ, Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
The ones I have came from you. They just haven't become "monsters" like yours have. One is in the ground. The other in a pot. Both have "Y's". I'm still hopeful that they will bloom for me... some day. :-) Once these get going, maybe I'll try out another one.
The whisper of things to come is in the air, silently the winds begin to lightly blow from the north, the sun sets early and the heavy humidity lightens. Potted plants no longer need watering everyday, and the bee's and squirrells have reached a frantic level of activity. I'm beginning to feel the same urgency as I feel the hourglass has tipped, that unsaid change of seasons that no calendar can measure. I look towards the greenhouse that has become summers storage of this and thats and begin to plot it's return to a habitable place for the orchids and other tender tropicals.
Even so, the presents of blooms unwrapped still greet me, and urge a moment of pause amongst the feelings of frantic perparedness to follow.
I am not sure the name of this canna, it appeared in my garden a couple of years ago from one of the trades. The closest I've been able to I.D. this is a Bananna Canna. They reach about 12 feet tall or so, and indeed have very like bananna leaves.
This is as close to the i.d. as I've gotten so far
Canna indica L.
The Banana Leaf Canna
The new addition from Jeanne
after reading up on this palm, this is one of the few palms that like alot of water and are often found in boggy areas or along rivers with their roots seeking water
Daturas and Brugs love this time of the year. The daturas greeted me in the early morning, The daturas I grew from seeds years ago, had "Datura Tree" marked on the packet, and some of the daturas tower over my head. This one is a smaller one set against the Dark alocasias and plumbeas
It's fun having two entrances to the garden from the house. This entrance is from the living room and full of potted plants. Durantas and plumerias greet me often with accompanying butterflys.
Duranta with aztec gold plumeria peaking through.
Towering over the westside of the deck is the coconut ladder from Thailand drapped with black eyed susan vine and..the Beaumontia Murtonni...will it bloom? The vine is 2 years old now and has over reached the top of the 40 foot ladder seeking refuge in the neighboring pear tree.
Boy, am I ever showing my ignorance. Because my shampoo ginger is less than 24 inches from my nose in the garden, I'm thinking that sure looks familiar. It does look exactly like it but I know full well that is way too simplistic. Sure that a ginger is way far back in your experience and that would be like id white milk.
Ornamental cotton. My next door neighbor gave me these seeds before she left, and indeed when this plant goes to seed, it is a nice puffy cotton ball. I'm told cotton is hibiscus family? who knew? Okra too!?
Randy...maybe I can get a collection of leaves together of fruit trees...and send them to you for a match. Would that help? We have about 30 varieties...also some of the ornamental stuff too. Can you post a photo of THE leaf...both sides. Are the margins recurved?
Can you show a close up of the main trunk...anything outstanding about the bark?
I keep going back to Christi's thought about the ginger...ya know, my shampoo ginger is over 12 ft. tall...and if I hadn't been re-rooting the off-shoots, it might very well look like a tree. Perhaps it is some sort of ginger tree??? Well, I'm sure Carol will be able to figure it out. Oh I love a good mystery!
No, I'll be helping out filling up my shopping cart!
The duranta..Sunny location, drinks mega water...personal notes: If a person is interested in abundant and frequent bloomings this plant does best root bound in a pot. In the ground it does bloom nicely, depending on the care, but not near as frequently and can grow into tree size.
Sure.. I discovered this through out a 3 year trial. started in pots, went into the ground and ended up putting them back in pots with great results...the only downside is that they require alot of water. I also observed this with the ones in the ground.
I do hope we have a better winter this year..It's usually 80F and hot on easter, this year the baby birds were freezing to death...
Still, it was good to see that the tropicals were alot hardier than I previously thought.
According to Farmer's almanac--we are supposed to have mild winter and mild summer next year. I am counting on it as I have replaced some of the tropicals back. Lot of the fragrant tropicals I like tend to be on the expensive side.
One day last Summer birds were dropping dead from the heat...
let's hope the weather is much kinder for everyone and everything
in the next few seasons...the wild swings do a great deal of damage...not only to our plants and animals but to us...we need a little gentleness...please
pppppsssst! 77 don't tell the others but this is my duranta...it flowers in many flushes with just a little hacking back every now and then...meet Geisha girl ...over 10ft and will be a mass of purple soon
Well everyone is saying they need a restricted root system ...perhaps the roots are just warmer in pots...mine has withstood a severe feeze and didn't blink...Perhaps it's the climate but it is almost a weed here ...if it were not so beautiful!
Shari, Chrissy was trying not to brag! Trying to keep it a secret that she can grow them soooo big! Too late Chrissy, Shari overheard your secret!! It's out! I promise I didn't tell!
I did get my orchid as I think I told you, but the picture is still in the camera. We have to reload some drivers (software for the computer). Hopefully DS will get that done tomorrow. We may have to go online to find some of them. But I will try to get you a picture asap. It looks good, I think anyway!
Chrissy, Oh, I know! If it makes it great, if not I tried! I will bring it in when the weather starts to get cold tho. Then if the weather is nice I'll take it out for fresh air.
My Mom raised them when we were in Hawaii and a couple in NC so I've always wanted one. It was marked down from $25 to $8, so I thought I'd give it a try!
I love all of the pictures of your plants. They look wonderful. RJ gave me a duranta. So far so good. Everything looks OK from being stuffed inside a hot trunk for 30 min...welll not everything...some things were in the back seat! They had A/C!
Chrissy--I do love your pictures.
Not only the weather but also the type of soil will make a difference I am sure. RJ is giving me tips on how to make them thrive in this part of the country. I had seen these in HI in ground thriving as well. I like to learn the tricks to fool plants as much as I can!LOL!If that does not work, then I get fooled.
Howdy Rj...I will be helping you spend all your money at Jerry's Jungle this coming weekend...heheheheh...I'll be there bright and early to get the first pick of all the good stuff...and run and go hide it...sshhhh...
Hehehe...I will be ...! I get all my best varigate plants from Jerry...should be a beautiful weekend too.
I'm hoping we have a mild winter. I feel like we're going to. Certainly this month has not seen a huge cool down here yet.. Matter of fact the south wind kicked in again today and is warming up quickly..had to water.
Chrissy, good to hear of other experiences on the Duranta.! I'm muddling through like everyone else, although UniqueTreasures also experienced similar. It's probabably a matter of right location, sun and water. I've only had them for about 4 years and it is my suspicion that root bound is what's causing them to bloom..if we interpret that...that would be I guess, LOL...this is one of my favorite quotes
But anyone who practices organic gardening knows that it is made up of a huge volume of hints, tips, ideas and practices—some of which, when tried, work and some don't, despite the fact that the organic gardener just down the road did exactly the same thing and got incredible results. "
You 've got it ...but you only need to cut a few inches back behind the finished flowers...to me you treat it the same as a crape myrtle...you can lolly pop...or let it have it's way...chuck some cow poo at it every now and then (or whatever manure you have)
and then just ignore it (if it's in the ground).
Bear in mind whatever I may experience may be very different in other places and soils...my soil...hard red clay!...that in itself may inhibate root growth to a certain extent .Anything I plant gets a whole lot attention at planting...soil improver...compost ...manure...sharp sand
mixed at a rate of about 50 percent of those goodies and about 50 percent of the clay...then once planted ...thick wads of newspaper about three foot around the plant (not right up to the trunk) wetted down (after watering the plant in)...and this is covered in more goodies like lucerne hay (you call it alfalfa) to hold it down...more manure...sprinkle of blood and bone...until a few inches thick...water again ...and that's it!...stand back!
I hate to admit it but I would prefer a winter that is a teeny bit less warm than the last two. My Angels Trumpets, Firespike, Buddlia and Gingers need a hard freeze to knock them back so that I can cut them to the ground and mulch them. That helps them really flourish when spring hits. The last 2 years have fooled them into growth during winter, when the cold weather finally hit they were confused. They were wimpy as heck this year.
Even my Plumerias thought that winter didn't exist. I know that they will be toast within the next couple of years but they have rooted through the pots so strongly that I let them be.
Just cut them back anyway...you can lay the foliage over the bases...and they will come back just fine...after an unexpected "freeze "here the Strelizias have been given a fright I guess... they are covered in dozens of the big heads...looks great1
more flowers than I have ever seen on it (the giant one)...I do think some things get a fright and flower more due to that...ha ha ha unfortunately we can't control; the weather! only how we deal with it.:)
The soil is the same here, except the clay is grey.
How convenient that the yard services bag leaves separately and set them neatly on the curb! It makes it so convenient for pick up! I only have to go 1/2 a block and I'm fixed for leaves. Lasts seasons leaves are nicely baked into a delicious mulch ready for the spreading...That is if I stop picking overtime up at work and spend a bit more needed garden time. I feel moonlight gardening coming on tonight..laalaaallaahaaa
I'm right here Moodene. (waving atcha!) Come on by and we'll have some iced tea.
I'd love to go check out Jerry's, but at this time of year, I'm wondering where in the heck I'm going to overwinter the plants that I already have. My little deck that gets covered up in plastic is only so big. I've already (at least) doubled the number of plants I have this year. They all fit nicely last year. It may be time to put some shelves out there somewhere so that upper space isn't wasted.
Oh cool, Ice tea will be just fine with me...I come to Beaumont to go shopping there for groceries and to visit some people there...maybe once a week..LOL...just there on Friday...lol...my boss is a great mechanic who works for the school district in Liberty,Texas. I am his bus service tech and a school bus driver...lol...had to get my Blazer worked on...I am in the middle of getting my hothouse rebuilt due to Rita messing it up some...14 x 20 foot long..lol..so that is where my overwintering plants are going into...
And then...while I was sweeping up branches and nuts from the squirrels, I litteraly found my nose in the orchid, and it smelled soooo good. I never think to smell the orchids anymore since all the others in my garden have no scent. So that was a happy accident
I see it too Christi! Beautiful RJ! I have one about to go into bloom that I will post when it does...very pretty. All you neighbors are so lucky! I have to travel thousands of miles to see my DG friends! But I sure am looking forward to it!
Heyya Janet! I'm going down to Brownsville to spend Veteran's Day with my folks, then up to Colorado for Thanksgiving. I will be in Houston for one day. I wish it could be longer so I could visit everyone without hassel, but alas, not this time. Christi has given me the greatest gift by offering to come to Houston so I can actually get a wonderful LouC hug in person! I am stunned and honored by this wonderful lady! We are going to try to get over to meet RJ. As I said it is only one day...a mere handful of hours, but I am going to enjoy them more than the rest of my "vacation" which will be filled with family obligations, doctor visits and practical stuff. At least until on the way back to Kwaj, when we stop at the Big Island to see Carol...that will be fun too. DG has sure expanded my horizons!!
I do hope you can make it over to RJ's. You will be astounded at the Tropical Island he has there in Houston. I am jealous as all get out that you and Christi will get to meet. I wish I could be there also. Oh my, what fun we would all have visiting. I'm afraid you'd most likely be late getting to Brownsville though because we'd all lose track of time. DG has the best folks in the world!
You had better be bringing a parka with you. I saw on the news that I think it was Colorado is having a foot of snow already. So you'll get to have a White Thanksgiving. And then on to Hawaii to visit with Carol. What a lucky gal you are! I wish you many blessings all along your travels and much good weather. Be sure to take some photos of the folks you see to share with us.
The snow would be a treat for us! Sorry you have a mess to deal with RJ!
No Janet - we are stopping in Houston on the way up to Colorado from Brownsville! ha Ha...much as I adore all the DGers, I can't miss Veteran's Day with my Dad.
Yep, I wish you could meet with us too! Gosh, we could have our own round-up! But its for such a short time, that I am astonished Christi and Mike are willing to make the trip - even though I know Texans don't think of that as all that far, it's still a lot of miles to me!
Ahh..but tis I who was found lurking at Jerrys Jungle! Nadine helps Jerry out at the tri yearly Jerrys Jungle sale.
By the way Nadine, varigated stuff...point me out to leafy plants with varigation! oh wow..only a couple of days!
Yes he did since his wife passed away he has more time devoted to what he likes to do...but he told me and the other crew members that he had some new stuff...so we will see if there is anything left after we take our pick...dum de dum...dum dum..de dum...LOL...I do hope his Japanese rooster still has his lady friend-Peanut (that I hatched for that rooster!!) Yep..only how many hours to the countdown of the sale???mmmm Here is the website he had created... www.jerrysjungle.com
Yes, I know MIke, who re-did his website...I'm headed over to Mikes this weekend. Do you know Wayne at Zone9?
He, Jerry and Mike all know each other. Wayne lives a couple blocks away from me... so I get lots of first picks...nanana..
God doesn't make coincidences or luck. He places each of us where our lives are the most productive...whether we agree or not. The many great things that occur for me on DG are too good to be just dumb luck.
Rj, we had nasty weather Weds. In fact we had a tornado in a nearby county. A friend of mine lives about 5-10 miles from where it was starting to form and he didn't know til I told him about it. lol. Kinda freaked him out.