My tropical garden

A tropical garden in Port Townsend, Washington

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Fabulous Florals.’ See more responses here. For this, I’m taking a short jaunt off the island to revisit the first tropical garden I planted. That was in Washington State. Now, I’m aware that Washington State isn’t in the tropics, but I like a challenge.

My goal was to create a garden of hardy tropical-looking plants, with colorful flowers and/or big, bountiful foliage. The first summer, I laid the foundations with three Windmill Palms and a wall of bamboo alongside one fence. Colorful canna lillies and big foliage gave an inkling of what was to come.

The second summer was when the garden took off. Ground covers spread. Vines took off. Pots provided focal points.

And of course, there were those fabulous florals.

One corner of the garden featured a Dicksonia Antarctica tree fern, which was soon joined by a Dicentra Scandens-Golden tears vine, Eccremocarpus scaber – Chilean glory vine, and a Clematis Armandii. There’s less than a month between the second and third photos in the gallery below, and the following summer the area was rampant with color and growth.

But it is Washington State and there are winters and in the winter it can snow. The palms and bamboo bent low under the weight of the snow, but they survived. The tiki torch looked distinctly unhappy with the weather, possibly jealous of those lucky plants that were moved indoors for the winter.

27 thoughts on “My tropical garden

  1. The Snow Melts Somewhere

    What a treat this post is, Graham! Thanks for showcasing your beautiful first tropical garden! It looks amazing and I love all the photos, especially the casual cat in garden paradise 🙂 And how come that banana leaf is so colourful?! Wonderful. And the tiki torch reminds me of myself, over here, covered in snow!

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    1. Graham Post author

      Glad you liked it. I had a lot of fun with that garden. The cat, Chairman Meow, roamed the garden without posing any threat to the birds that visited. I can’t remember why I ended up with that banana, but I did love the color. I trust the snow in your part of the world is no longer around?

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    1. Graham Post author

      Thanks, Kirstin. I had a great time with it and I liked how it was going. It’s not the usual Washington State garden, but perhaps it was an indication that I should move to where I am now!

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  2. Nancy Fitch

    I’ve often wondered what that yard looks like now. Tempted to stop by and ask if I might check it out! If I do, I’ll take some photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Graham Post author

      I don’t really have a garden here currently. Where I live now, the yard is quite open so if I planted flower, the pigs, chickens and assorted other terrorists would mangle it in a hurry. To compensate, The kind of flowers I grew in this garden grow wild here, and year round!

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  3. Terri Webster Schrandt

    I love this, Graham! Thank you for showing your Washington tropic garden. Looks like you were already rocking the island vibe! You really had success with these plants and flowers. I’m sure snow was not welcomed but after two years of it, I see how plants simply lie dormant and come back. Do you miss your garden or are you content with your native tropicals?

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    1. Graham Post author

      Thanks, Terri. It was fun to go through the old garden photos. Plants like the palms and bamboo looked very sad bent under the snow, but they bounced back fine. The main thing to watch for was that the weight of snow didn’t break anything, but that wasn’t usually an issue as it didn’t snow too much. I sort of miss the tinkering around in the garden but I’m surrounded by tropical plants here so that’s ample compensation!

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  4. Pingback: Sunday Stills: Fabulous Seasonal #Florals – Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

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