Eclectic gardening mixes old favorites with a tropical locale

This morning I planted azaleas out in the palm garden. Why? Because I am an eclectic gardener, that’s why. Eclectic is good and we have a great climate for an eclectic gardener.

What is an eclectic gardener? Why, it’s someone who plants azaleas from up north with palm trees from the tropics. It’s someone who puts hydrangeas next to the ornamental ginger and roses next to the hibiscus.

And why not?

We may love our tropical  location but we also love the plants we grew up with. Yes, I still miss violets, daffodils, and lily of the valley even though I love my orchids, spider lilies, and butterfly white ginger, but we grow what will grow and I like to mix it up.

We gardeners mix it up for a lot of reasons.  Color, of course, is the first. Sometimes you can’t find the right combinations for the garden. If you want a rainbow of colors, you have to search long and hard for the right tropical plants so becoming eclectic is a good choice. Scent is another issue.

Most of the highly scented flowers I have been growing come in a short range of colors. I would love to grow more roses in a range of colors, but the leaf cutters have finally defeated me and I am going to pull them out of their bed and just scatter them around to take care of themselves. After all, why should I provide a concentrated buffet for leaf cutters by placing my roses all in one spot? Let them work for the food!

Height is an issue. My favorite edging plant is the dual use Tradescantia pallida, wandering jew, temperate and tropical but some of my tropical edgers have suffered from failure to spread. Sometimes I have been told that a plant will grow only 3 feet tall, then it suddenly takes off and exceeds the space allotted. This happened to me with my Brazilian Plume (Jaccobinia) so if you have a plant name, check the web before putting it in the ground.

My Jacobinia plants are now about 6 feet tall and need to be relocated.
Then there are issues of bugs not limited to leaf cutters and fungi that, if they start in one plant, will continue to a new species. Sometimes you can fool them by putting temperate plants next to tropical.

So go ahead and mix it up. After all, it is your garden!

A word of caution for gardeners

Locally near Nuevo Arenal there has been a case of murine typhus.
This Is NOT Typhoid fever and is NOT CONTAGIOUS!

Murine typhus is due to Rickettsia typhi and is spread by fleas. Early symptoms are flu-like such as muscle aches and pains, fever, chills that are followed by a rash. Please go to the web and review the material from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

This is a VERY RARE DISEASE. Hawaii sees perhaps 5 or 6 cases a year. If you have symptoms, see a doctor as the disease can be treated with antibiotics.

Plant for the Week
And now a pretty picture from England with wisteria climbing the walls.

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