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How about you?

I’ve had so many great plants that give me cheap thrills and chills. Plants that were easy and relatively inexpensive. Why then, do I not have said plants growing out there right now? Last week, I showed you my pot ghetto, and honestly, what’s the big deal? Get the plant. Put it in the pot. But noooo.

Alocasia 'Mayan Mask' a super plant for summer season from a 4" plant.
Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’ a super plant for summer season, grown from a 4″ plant.

Last year I bought this little Alocasia in a 4″ pot. I LOVED that thing. But have I gotten one this year. Indeed, not. And I should have a better picture. It’s in my computer somewhere.

Colocasia 'Diamond Head'
Colocasia ‘Diamond Head’

This Colocasia ‘Diamond Head’ was grown from a 4″ pot that cost $2.99. Oh, now I’m beginning to remember why I didn’t get it again. It’s like that bottle of Champagne I got 15 years ago that only cost $14. Now it’s $45. Well that ship has sailed. I guess I should add a couple more bucks to the pot and make myself happy again.

Colocasia 'Diamond Head' looks mighty fine when backlit too.
Colocasia ‘Diamond Head’ looks mighty fine when backlit too.

In looking through my photos, it does occur that many of the cheap thrills fall into the big-leaf tropical category. My pal and garden designer extraordinaire, Vanessa Gardner Nagel stopped by the other day, and she commented “it’s looking very tropical out there.” I didn’t set out in that direction, but there you have it. (The round bed was Vanessa’s idea, and it was a good one.)

Still debating how to edge the round bed.
Still debating how to edge the round bed.

Apparently I’ve got a thing for plants that make me think I’m on vacation. And I like that I can then go inside and sleep in my own bed. Boring? Yes. But not entirely unsatisfactory.

I used to think I wanted a swimming pool of my own, too. Now I pine for a nice neighbor with a pool. I have to admit, though, having one right outside the door–like when we visited Palm Springs a few months ago–was dang enjoyable.

Swimming pool and hot tub just outside the patio door makes for fun.
Swimming pool and hot tub outside the patio door makes for great fun.

But back to plants.

In truth, I don’t nursery hop that often. Well, that is if you don’t count the few that I haunt regularly. I should course correct though. So many nurseries in the sea. And this a good month for shopping summer tropicals. Right? I think things go on SALE about now. And there’s still lots of good weather out our way. Unless that whole the-weather-gods-must-be-crazy thing interferes. Last night around eleven o’clock, there was a definite chill in the air. Someone even said the F-word: Fall. It’s early August, for Pete’s sake.

Canna musafolia. In truth, I did finally get this one in the ground again.
Canna musafolia. In truth, I did finally get this one in the ground again.

I love Canna musafolia aka Banana Canna. This one not only looks tropical, but survives winters in the ground.

This photo captured at the nursery. Brugsmansia ‘Double White’
This photo captured at the nursery. Brugsmansia ‘Double White’

The above Angel Trumpet photo was taken at the nursery, but mine are blooming at home. I’d just have to lie on the ground get a shot like this. Prolific little plants–when you treat them right.

I hate to admit this, but I don’t have a good sense of how our growing season stacks up with others around the country. We can plan on about five dry months, and really, we can be in the garden practically year round. Getting info on microclimates is on our to-do list here at plant lust. In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you about your trials and tribulations with growing seasons. (It’d be nice to know too, which annuals* you think are worth the trouble.)

And this has nothing to do with nothing, but I wanted to show you anyway. I love generous gardeners.

Hesperaloe parviflora. I brake for free plants.
Hesperaloe parviflora. I holler for the driver to brake for free plants.

Have fun in the garden.


*In my book, annual denoting any plant that falls in the denial zone.