Saturday, March 6, 2010

Blinked and missed it

After a week pre-occupied with the necessary business of making money and publishing gardening magazines, I finally managed to get all the way down to the back of our garden this Saturday morning, only to realise that the show which I thought was going to begin any moment was already over. Blinked and missed it, I did.

This is a soggy goner that probably looked quite pretty sometime mid-week, when I wasn't around. Hedychium gardnerianum to the botanists, ginger lily to rest of us. Looks like a pretty party girl around 3am on a wet Saturday night, with a few regrets in tow. Heavy recent rain came at the wrong time, just as the flowers began blooming. Rats!

This is what Lily probably looked like on Wednesday, when I wasn't there. (This shot is from last year, when I lovingly documented Lil's emergence.)

Lily wasn't alone this morning, either. This is another bedraggled party-goer, with a torn, wet dress.

The ginger lilies have had a good time and they're healthy and happy plants, so I'm not really complaining that much. Lovely tropical greenery still. It's just one of those things. Sometimes you can miss seeing the flowers bloom right there in your own garden.

Not far away from the ginger lilies, I have planted a couple of relatives, two tropical flowering gingers. Both are classified as Costus barbatus, but one has the common name of Red Tower Ginger, and the other is known as Costa Flores Ginger. So far no blooms, but this is their first year here. They were planted last October, and I've been cutting back neighbouring, rampant canna lilies and cardamoms to make room for my flowering gingers to grow, and feeding them too.

All I have to go on, and to show you, are these very nice plant labels. Not sure what I'll get this year, but I will persist. My ginger lilies didn't flower in their first year, and so I won't mind if these tropical beauties don't show up this year. I'm patient. I've read that in Sydney they don't get growing well until it warms up in December, and they often don't flower till late in summer or even early autumn, as it's still very warm and humid now in early March.

But what I really will mind, as in being hugely pissed off, will be if I get busy at work again (and it's a wet week) and I pop outside only to discover the soggy, rapidly fading flowers of these flowering gingers saying "sorry, we tried to hang on, but where were you?"

I've learned my lesson. No matter how busy, always make time for a quick lap of the garden just to see what's happening. It's only 9 metres long and 7.5 metres wide, so it's not as if a quick lap is going to take more than a minute, is it?


Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I'm so sorry you missed the height of their bloom. How disappointing! However, it sounds like you've learned your lesson, and now will always take that minute or two to visit your garden. Good luck with your flowering ginger, I hope they bloom for you soon.

Chookie said...

Blow! Oh well, perhaps it iwll spot-flower later?

Lanie said...

Are any of these edible gingers? They do look very pretty on the labels.

Jamie said...

Chookie: no, it won't spot flower unfortunately. Last year it flowered nicely for a couple of weeks, but this year the rain hit it just at the wrong time.

Lanie: no, none of them are edible, as far as I know.

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