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.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘The Pink Side of Life.’ See more responses here.
The top photo shows a leaf cutter bee on what I think is a zinnia violacea flower. Next we have a ball of Egyptian starcluster (Pentas lanceolata) flowers and Pinkfringe (Arthrostemma ciliatum) flowers.
Next comes the lovely marking of a shell ginger flower and the puffy blooms of a sensitive plant.
Finally, there’s a pink banana hosting a visitor, a gold dust day gecko after a little something to drink.
Also posted in response to Becky’s October Squares challenge theme of ‘Past Squares – In the Pink/Flowers.’ See more responses here.
I’d always thought that the large reddish purple mass hanging below these bananas was the flower. But I learned that these are bracts surrounding the flower, which is a male flower. Female flowers are the first to appear on the plant and these are the ones that turn into the fruit seen in this photo.
Gold dust day geckos are colorful little creatures and I look out for them on colorful plants such as bird of paradise flowers and pink bananas. They’re attracted to these, and other flowers, for the nectar within. This one spent a considerable time drinking from this pink banana.
I was very pleased with this photo for several reasons. First is that I was lucky to notice the Japanese white-eye flitting through the foliage at all. Second is that I saw where it landed. Third is that I was able to focus in through a tangle of leaves and flowers. And fourth is that this is the only shot I got before it took off again.
Gold dust day geckos are not endemic to Hawaii. A native of Madagascar, Hawaii’s population stems from the release of 8 geckos by a student on the University of Hawaii campus in 1974. It’s not known if beer was involved.
While this makes the gold dust day gecko something of an invasive species, it’s hard to feel bitter about such an endearing little creature. With their striking coloration, they can be seen sticking to any surface or zipping about whether they’re right side up or upside down. They’re not bothered by close examination, usually just staring back with a goofy expression. Turn away though, and they can be gone in an instant.
This gecko was engrossed by the potential of this pink banana. Not sure if it was looking for water, nectar, or the possibility of insects within.
For more information about this and other geckos, go to geckoweb.org.