The Best of... A discussion thread

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Chad
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The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by Chad » Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:30 am

Since it is getting dark and there is not a lot of excitement to post from my garden I thought I'd start a discussion thread that EVERBODY can add to.

I'd be interested to know what people consider to be their 'standard' plants for a tropical look, their best 'special' plants [which may or may not be rare] and what they are looking to get hold of next year. I'll be particularly interested to hear from beginners and 'shy posters' as well the experienced growers.

We last ran a thread like this years ago and I suspect tastes and fashions have changed.

It will be interesting to see.

I'll start it off with three in each group.

My 'core' tropical look plants are;
Fatsia japonica. Tough and reliable with good big glossy leaves.
Musa basjoo. I actually grow Musa 'Tibet' but I can hardly tell the difference. In Cornwall I don't protect over winter: in a bad winter frost cuts them to the ground.
Fargesia sp. A well behaved bamboo genus that haven't run here. I think mine is 'Red Panda'. Bamboo aficionados will list better ones! I have other bamboo, but I'm not as fond of them.


My 'Special' ones are;
Schefflera enneaphylla. A big Schefflera with two rings of leaflets. It is the only Schefflera I have where the flowers add to the effect.
Dahlia tamaulipana. A huge herbaceous heap of leaves. It seldom flowers here: the autumn gales destroy it too soon.
Smallanthus [AKA Polymnia] maculatus. Another huge herbaceous 'daisy familly': this one with canes to 12ft spotted with purple.

My 'wish list'.
Ficus auriculata. Although seed is available from may sources, so far it has never germinated. Out of its native range it won't get pollinated. It needs a specific small wasp to the job. There is one in The Eden Project and I've contemplated a night time raid to liberate a cutting...
Dillenia indica. Although too tender to grow outside all year I like the look of the leaves. I've tried from seed and never got it to germinate. It has a delayed maturation in the seeds so I was warned to keep pots for ages. It is now 5 years and no germination. Yet?
Meryta sinclairii. This used to be quite common in cultivation but I haven't seen it for a few years and I lost mine to a harder than expected frost a few years ago in the polytunnel when I should have brought it inside. Seed is available so I should get this back this year.

Anyone else?

Chad

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Chad
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The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by Chad » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:35 pm

270 views and no replies! They can't all have been automated bots can they?

Was my post too complex?

Single question needed perhaps?

OK. How about 'What are you hoping to grow next year that is new to you?

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karl66
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The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by karl66 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:07 pm

Hi Chad, this site can be frustrating for replies!, it does seem very quiet I must admit
With me having moved house I'm just hoping everything grows as expected as I'm still learning my soil conditions and hot spots/cold area's etc,being south east facing to rear I'm hoping we'll see more light than previous west facing aspect we had beforehand.

chainsaw kid
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The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by chainsaw kid » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:11 pm

Hi Chad,

I have been off the grid since a couple of days after you started this post but looked in this morning only to find you had no replies. I was honestly appalled. I know half a dozen of us have been trying to keep the forum going but even they did not respond! I did not want you to feel lonely and abandoned, so whilst I was working on a pretty mindless job (painting) I formulated some ideas only to log in to night to find you have changed the parameters!!!!!!! Its far to late in the day to start thinking again so you will have to make do with what I have been thinking earlier in the day. :?

Core plants.
Palms various, what ever you can grow in your area.

Eucalyptus, what ever you like except Gunnii, unless you want to commit suicide! They tend to drop branches if you so much as look at them.

Tetrapanax papyriferus, a must.

Bamboo, don't buy a runner.

Fatsia, I have 3 varietes.

Cordyline, any you can grow.

Dicksonia Antarctica, a must.

Plants I would not be with out.
Acacia baileyana (purple form). The most beautiful tree for flowering in the winter with the advantage of purple leaves in the growing season.

Crinodendron hookerianum, Super shrub.

Abutilon, every flower colour you can find.

Calicarpa bodinieri, stunning flowers and berries, but you need 2 for the berries.

Climbers to grow up and through your plants for that jungle feel.

Wisteria, try and get a different colour. I like the pink.

Lathyrus Latifolus. colour all summer long until the frosts.

Passiflra Caerulea, exotic looking but hardy.

Vitis purpurea for colour and brant to grow from tree to tree so you can swing like Tarzan! You can also make bostin Jam as they say in the black country. icon_thumright

Is that enough! If not I could start on large leaved perennials. Jas.

EDIT,

I forgot one of the most important plants, Banana, any, but I like the purple ones. icon_salut
Last edited by chainsaw kid on Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
Don't Just sit there, plant something!

The Kid.

GREVILLEAJ
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The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by GREVILLEAJ » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:35 pm

Hi Chad.
Surprised to read about the lack of response to this thread and I have to admit I am unintentionally guilty. I think I was let down by the fat finger syndrome as I remember submitting a long post a couple of days after your entry. Now I can't find it so I must have inadvertently deleted it. I'll keep the thread flowing by posting one heading at a time

CORE PLANTS:
These are pretty similar to yours, Chad. Palms both fan and feathered. I don't just have Trachycarpus and Chammies. Feather leaf represented by Phoenix and Butia with others besides.
Large leaves with Basjoo and potted examples which are pigeon holed around the garden. Alocasias placed similarly along with hardier Colocasias potted and planted.
Phyllostachys
Agaves planted, potted and pigeonholed to add succulents to the scene.

GREVILLEAJ
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The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by GREVILLEAJ » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:18 pm

Specials:
Pseudopansx Laetus. Generous pruning allows larger, very exotic leaves.

Pseudopanax Lessonii variegata. Looks for all the world like the popular houseplants Schefflera arboricola.ñm k


Eucalyptus nitens. Juvenile leaves almost lòok metallic.

Euphorbia mellifera. Self seeds freely and serves up the purest green exotic leaves you'll ever see

GREVILLEAJ
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The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by GREVILLEAJ » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:35 pm

Wish list:

Colocasias elepaio*, mojito*, illustris, Hawaian range, Thailand giant.

Musas Ae-Ae, Siam Ruby*, Zebrina*

Ensetes Hiniba, Montebelardii*

Agaves ovatifolia, cream spike*

* Indicates trying again. Subjects lost over the years!

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eddie
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The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by eddie » Sat Dec 21, 2019 1:27 pm

passiflora for the fence

a red banana

bamboo & musa basjoo

tertrapanax of course

cordyline does not grow here unfortunately
Washingtonia Trachycarpus Cordyline? Bamboos Olive tree? Bananas

Chez2
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The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by Chez2 » Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:32 pm

I don't go for the same look as everyone else. Our tropical area isn't jungle and its only a small area around the patio and quite a bit is in tubs. Palms, fatsia, large round leaved ligularia and the one with tall yellow flower spikes that likes shade and damp (name escapes me). Tree fern, fig, brug and the rest changes year on year. Flowers are alstromeria and anything bright and gaudy but only a few amongst the foliage.

We have another area with is more arid / Mediterranean.

The photos were lost when the forum crashed so I might upload some again.

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Chad
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The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by Chad » Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:23 pm

Chez2 wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:32 pm
Tree fern, fig, brug and the rest changes year on year.
Fig, I had forgotten the indispensable hardy fig.

Great, big and tough leaves that have the grace to drop off for the winter so they don't hang around to get too battered.

I grow 'Adam' which is reputed to have the largest leaves, but mine gets cut up for cuttings so much it has never gotten big enough to 'do its thing' properly.

And 'Ice Crystal' for a hardy version of Cussonia which isn't hardy here.

Chad

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charliep
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The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by charliep » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:17 pm

I grow figs mainly for the fruit but several of them have good leaves the most lobed are probable Brunswick and White Ishcia (not sure of the spelling!) we have 7 in the garden, last year was poor for fruit but the year before we had loads, I think my pruning tactic is at fault, I tend to get cross with them at some point and hack them off
Charlie Pridham
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chainsaw kid
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The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by chainsaw kid » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:36 pm

I have a small 'Ice Crystal' that I am expecting great things from in the future! Although bought for its foliage, does any one know if it fruits well?

Regards Jas.
Don't Just sit there, plant something!

The Kid.

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Chad
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The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by Chad » Wed Dec 25, 2019 3:02 pm

chainsaw kid wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:36 pm
I have a small 'Ice Crystal' ... does any one know if it fruits well?
Mine is still small and hasn't fruited yet.

On line sites say it has small sweet fruit that look like this if it has a hot summer.

When it was new to cultivation it was thought to be a form or hybrid of the shrubby Ficus afghanistanica which has edible 'wild type' fruit but may need pollinating, but I think most authorities have decided it is a 'normal' Ficus carica and sets sterile fruit without pollination.

Chad

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The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by Chez2 » Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:10 am

I don't know what my fig is, planted it well over a decade ago. I cut it back really hard each year and it still fruits. I forget to check and the birds eat them. I'm not overly keen on fresh fig so I pick them and give them to my parents or leave them on if the birds have already started them.

chainsaw kid
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The Best of... A discussion thread

Post by chainsaw kid » Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:33 pm

Chad, thank you for the extra information, fruit looks a little on the small side but if it has a nice flavour that's good enough for me. It just means I shall have to eat a lot more of them. :lol: icon_thumright
Don't Just sit there, plant something!

The Kid.

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