I went on a mini garden tour yesterday to the Tropical Ranch Botanical Garden in nearby Stuart, Florida. This is a two acre garden owned by a local couple who are Master Gardeners; they live in the garden and open it every month or so.
The garden is beautifully maintained and available for events. Here are a few plants from my meander through the garden:
This is a ‘Queen Emma’ Crinum – this plant is 5 or 6 feet tall.
Another enormous tropical in bloom, these are very popular around town and are available in Lemon, Orange and Raspberry. I am not sure which one this is but, I am guessing Lemon as the leaves have a yellow cast. The flower is almost 5 feet tall and out of this world. I have had these for a couple of years and mine refuse to bloom. One of the owners told me they used to have cows – maybe that is the secret.
Hawaiians call this Hala, it is used for everything from hats to huts, not native to Florida it will grow here. Floridians tend to call this Screw Pine, not sure why, it seems odd – when I first heard the term I thought it was some weird tropical version of a Japanese Black Pine, not so. I have one in my garden, it is about 12″ tall, unlike this beauty.
And last but not least, another favorite, the Heliconia. I think it is some variety of Lobsterclaw. Another thing I am waiting for a flower from; I read the other day these shouldn’t be pruned or you cut the flowers off. That could be my problem – excessive pruning. But, the plant is seven feet tall. Gardening teaches patience, right?