Late in the Day in the Exotic Garden at Urban Jungle
05 July 2014 - by Lizzy Browne

I’m living on a knife-edge. When do we start to dig up and protect our  tenders? They’re looking so beautiful and this is the time of year when all  their energy is going into making tubers and rhizomes for next year’s stock. I’m  feeling so loathe to commence the harvest. It’s not that I’m too worried about  being caught out by an early frost. Most of the plants will take some frost –  even the Colocasias and Ensetes won’t come to too much harm for a night or two  out in the cold. What I’m most worried about is Jamie leaving us in mid-November  to go gallivanting around the southern hemisphere before everything is tucked up  safely. There’s always so much work to do in a short space of time.

Hedychium greenii

As usual, some of the gingers are leaving it rather late to flower. Hedychium  coronarium, one of the most beautifully scented of all the gingers is staying  tightly in bud. I very much doubt, especially if this cold weather continues,  that its flowers will open before we move the plants indoors. Hedychium  thyrsiforme, with its impressive foliage shows no sign of even a bud. However  Hedychium gardnerianum is in full flower and has been for weeks.

Hedychium coronarium in  bud

Hedychium thyrsiforme

Hedychium gardnerianum

The flowering display of Hedychium greenii is just gaining momentum.  Hedychium Tara, ellipticum and Stephen are giving another show and Cautleya  gracilis hasn’t stopped all summer. Next summer I may delay planting until the  middle of June to see if this will bring flowering slightly forward. Or perhaps  next summer we, and our plants will be treated to some warmth and sunshine and I  won’t need to – now wouldn’t that be special?



            Hedychium Tara  opening


            Hedychium ellipticum  opening


Hedychium densiflorum  'Stephen'

Cautleya gracilis

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