A year ago we posted a photograph of an orchid which had flowered for the first time in 26 years. Well, its done it again, exactly one year later. When it flowered last year we had finally been able to identify it as a Cymbidium Aloifolium.
Maybe not!. You will probably break your teeth if you try to bite into one of these. This is the amazing fruit of the Foxtail Palm (Woodyetia Bifurcate). They are about the same size and have the look of small red apples.
We have waited 26 years, yes that's right, 26 years to see this orchid flower. It was a "no tag" orchid that we picked up in our travels and now that it has flowered we have finally been able to ID it as a Cymbidium Aloifolium. Native to the Far East and cool nights. We think a recent drop in night time temperatures may have done the trick.
We are celebrating at Hyde Park because at last the Christmas Palm (Veitchia Merrillii) has recovered its rhythm since the hurricane of 2004. Christmas Palm, so called, because its fruit turns a bright red as we approach Christmas.
We are very fortunate to have friends who bring us interesting plants like the ones below. We were not entirely sure what they were but thought they might be orchids.
And then one flowered. A tiny flower which could scarcely be seen but when taken in close up it proved to be a perfect orchid. To understand the scale the black insects are ants.
We haven't identified it yet. If anyone knows please tell us.
Well perhaps not just yet. A good friend gave us a gift of this coffee plant about five years ago. For the first time we are seeing flowers on it and numerous buds. We are watching it closely and hopefully in a few months time we will be able to say " Anyone for Hyde Park grown coffee." It might just be one cup but you have to start somewhere!
Congratulations to Suzanne Gaywood and her Grenada at Chelsea team on the award of a Silver Gilt medal for their exhibit. Photographs of the exhibit can be seen here http://www.grenada-at-chelsea.org.uk
The annual Chelsea Flower Show begins one week from today and after a break last year, following their 10th Gold Medal, Suzanne Gaywood and her Grenada at Chelsea team will be participating again this year.
Gardeners around Grenada have been picking their choicest blooms and foliage and a group of volunteers met together this evening (Tuesday) at the home of Cathy, one of the Grenada at Chelsea team members to carefully pack their contributions. In addition to the blooms from private gardens, nurseries and commercial growers from around the island, will also be packing flowers and foliage for Chelsea.
Tomorrow evening Cathy will be winging her way to London on British Airways with the precious blooms for Chelsea in the hold. We wish Cathy bon voyage and good wishes to the whole Grenada at Chelsea team for a successful show.
A cactus with leaves! Yes there is such a thing. Not only leaves, but a flower that looks very like a rose and a fleshy acidic yellow fruit. When it comes to thorns though, it has the rose beaten hands down. They grow to about 2 metres tall and I'm told they plant them as hedges in Venezuela. I'm sure they make very effective barriers.
Its called Pereskia Bleo or for obvious reasons the Rose Cactus. This is what Wikipedia has to say about the Pereskia Bleo
This one was planted at Hyde Park about ten years ago and is now at full maturity. The flowers close up tightly at night.
We are now half way through a hard dry season which hopefully will come to an end in June when the rains normally arrive. A combination of low humidity, endless sunshine and high winds (great for the folks who are here for the sun, sea and sand) has sucked all the moisture from the earth. Fortunately there are some plants that thrive in these conditions. A walk around the garden this morning shows the contrast.
The renanthera and arachnid(spider) orchids appear to be quite happy in the sunny dry conditions
The green lush grass has turned into hay. The upside is that no mowing is required.
A fallen coconut branch complete with dry coconuts makes a pretty picture
The great thing about a tropical garden is that even in the dry season there are still flowering trees and plants. The Frangi P ani covered in white blooms, the Cassia Fistula with its hanging yellow showers. The bromeliads, bougainvillia, congea and vanda and arachnid orchids. Even a late blooming purple crinum