Cool Plants In Our Garden
In The Garden – By Stephen and Kristin Pategas
We are presently growing every one of these plants and are very pleased with them. Under the proper conditions they should also perform well for you. Some may be a bit difficult to find but they are worth the search.
- Agave lophantha ‘Splendida’- Splendida century plant: Each of these sun-loving, low water use succulents can reach 15” x 2’ wide and make a dense thicket of plants as it spreads by underground rhizomes. It is much dwarfed and long lasting in a container.
- Bambusa oldhamii/Giant timber bamboo – Don’t run away! This is a clumping bamboo. The genus Bambusa gives that away. Although it will only form a clump it does grow tall to about 55-feet in height so keep it away from power lines. The culms (bamboo-speak for trunks) reach 4-5” in diameter. To control the clump width, cut away the still-soft emerging shoots. Very impressive!
Cestrum aurantiacum/Golden jasmine – This is one of our favorites for a flowering shrub border. There are gorgeous golden-yellow flowers during the warm months on this large sun-loving shrub. Please don’t shear it, so you can enjoy the flowers.
Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’/Silver Falls dichondra – This silver-leaved vine is striking in containers as it cascades over the rim. Be aware that it will root easily into the ground and spread vigorously. It is low water use, so it is a good pairing with other low water use plants.
Jasminum polyanthum/Pink jasmine – This is a true vining jasmine and in the spring (well before confederate jasmine blooms) the pink buds open with white flowers which are very fragrant. This is a very low maintenance evergreen vine with a fine texture to its foliage. Provide full sun and a fence or trellis to grow upon for the best growth.
Portulacaria afra – Elephant’s food: This sun-loving and low water use succulent from Africa reaches about 3’ tall in the ground and makes a nice cascade in a container. Research shows elephant’s food to be an excellent “carbon sponge” since it absorbs free carbon from the atmosphere which is used to make plant tissue. Carbon is one of the major greenhouse gases which are responsible for the warming of the earth’s atmosphere. Yes, elephants do like to eat it.
***All photography by Stephen G. Pategas/Hortus Oasis
Hortus Oasis (FL26000315) in Winter Park is a boutique garden design company specializing in residential, commercial and specialty gardens. Stephen is a registered landscape architect and Kristin is a certified landscape designer. Contact them at Hortus Oasis at 407-622-4886/ firstname.lastname@example.org