What does a snowbound northerner crave after a brutal winter? GARDENS!
I’ve had the good fortune to be able to visit the fabulous Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida during spring break for several winters. Many of the tropical plants grown at this garden inspire my gardens in Maine in the summer time. Here are a few of the plants that got my attention this year.
Caladiums – Who needs flowers with leaves like this? I’ve had good luck growing them in Maine as long as I give them a head start in the house. They detest cold soils and may fail to sprout if planted directly in the ground in spring.
Staghorn Ferns make fabulous houseplants. Several of my friends grow them in Maine.
I’ve grown plenty of Alocasia in my garden in the summer but I’ll be looking for this very different one. I love the white markings. Envy!! I start these in a warm area in the house to give them a head start.
Tropical pitcher plants will become a conversation piece houseplant.
Tropical pitcher plants love the warm greenhouse at the Marie Selby Botanical Garden.
Tropical pitcher plants.
I have a love affair with fern leaves. This Australian Tree Fern towered over me – beautiful, lacy, sculptural leaves. I’ve got to try it as a houseplant.
The Marie Selby Botanical Garden is know for its world-class orchid collection.
This tropical orchid is related to the beautiful lady slippers that grow in northern areas.
For more information about growing these beautiful tropical plants go to the Marie Selby Botanical Garden website: http://www.selby.org/
I highly recommend a vacation to a warmer area – for gardening inspiration and to recharge your creative energy. When I return to Maine, I’ll be ready to put my hands in the dirt and start my gardening. My suitcase will certainly have room for a few “green travelers” from Florida! (An Australian Tree Fern, perhaps?)