Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Excellent plants around the Administration Building

I did one of my weekend watering days this past Sunday. There's a love-hate relationship there; while it's hard to get enthusiastic about giving up a weekend day to work by yourself, it's a good thing spending enforced time in parts of the Arboretum that I probably wouldn't have visited otherwise. There were a good number of visitors, many from out of town, and most of them were pretty talkative. Sunday was a beautiful day, sunny with interesting clouds, cool in the morning but warming up nicely in the afternoon. The plants appreciated the warmth and sun after a few days of cool, wet weather.

The containers and tree boxes on the terrace of the Administration Building were particularly good. They've been planted for months now and have filled out, exploded really, with new foliage, flowers, and fruit here and there. The tropicals appreciate our summer heat and seem to double in size every month. Some of them probably actually do!

I have been in love with Agave attenuata since I saw a cascade of it alongside the road above Paia that climbs the slope of Haleakala. The planting tumbled 150' dowhill beside a steep driveway. It's a wonderful sculptural plant in any location but that was spectacular. Lycoris radiata, Red Naked Ladies are cool plants that flower now in early fall, then put on their leaves for the winter. There are spectacular drifts of them under the south side of the terrace. I didn't look at the cultivar of Ficus elastica with the outrageous variegation, but I've seen one much like it in nurseries around Tampa: 'Ruby'. These are just a few of the dozens and dozens of quirky and beautiful specimens that have come into their own over the summer. They're worth a look. Brad has done another good job.

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