Exotic Gardening with Rare and Strange Plants

Plant Photography

Growing plants from other parts of the world is an exciting game of patience. Many plants grown from seed take a while to mature before setting bud.

I first read about Isoplexis canariensis a couple years back. Stories of an illusive Canary Island Foxglove always intrigued me. Luckily we live the modern era where one doesn’t necessarily have to travel to the location of the plant to commence one’s plant science. I eagerly placed an order on http://www.rareplants.de and shortly after received a package in the mail. I sowed the seeds in June of 2012 and have been rewarded with vibrant blooms a mere 14 months later. The whole crop started to flower mid July of this year, I suppose you could call this project a complete success. Unfortunately what does one do with 25 flowering exotic plants that no one really knows exist. These strange plants have flowered for weeks and are still creating buds. Their hardiness probably lies a great deal warmer than Victoria will offer, only time will tell.

Isoplexis growing in Victoria.
Who knew.

Canary Island Foxglove

isoplexis canariensis

isoplexis canariensis

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I recently installed some incandescent Christmas lights in an effort to keep frost off my small backyard greenhouse. I’m amazed by how much heat these little bulbs give off and I really didn’t expect them to look this good either. The greenhouse ends up looking like a giant lantern and glows in the illumination of the Christmas lights. The oranges and reds of autumn really stand out in the yellow glow of these lights. As I stood outside yesterday evening admiring their glow, I found myself in one of those excellent photography moments. I ran and grabbed the camera, the air was cold and calm and i began snap photos. It was a magical 20 minutes, and I’m quite pleased with the results. I think these are some of the best plant photos I’ve taken to date. The night is kind to a plant photographer, there is less background noise and high contrast. If there was ever a time for night photography, November would be it.

Nighttime Garden Photoshoot: November 2011


Mimosa & Acer


It’s only now in November that my Acer ‘ Blood Good’ has began it’s transition to pure fire scarlet.


Billardiera longiflora is a dainty little vine from Australia, which so far proves to be hardy here in Victoria. In mid spring it has little indiscreet flowers and in late summer these cute little purple “peppers” appear. An interesting specimen for the collection.


Acer ‘Blood Good’ stretches into the darkness.


My Tetrapanax papyrifer remains untouched by the lights frosts we’ve been having. It looks majestic under such lighting.


The last remaining Physalis alkekengi fruits hanging like miniature jack o lanterns.


The Acacia pravissima stands along side the Dahlia imperialis awaiting the oncoming winter.


It took all season for this hardy fuchsia ‘Herald’ to leap into action, now it’s less then a week away from getting frosted.


Mahonia media is loving the November weather.


Considering this is a winter flowering plant, it’s flowers are as tropical looking as it gets. I love Mahonia!


This photo takes the cake for extreme foliage. Left To Right, Fatsia, Tetrapanax, Mahonia, Acer


I’ve went a little overboard this winter with the straw, everything’s tucked in for the winter.


I’m just a plant geek, with a greenhouse and a dream.

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Mr Nat. Gardener, Plant Nerd
Tips and tales about gardening in one of the most mild climates in Canada. Specializing in rare and strange plants from far out destinations, this is the story of an obsessed young gardener in Victoria B.C. Let's create more tropical gardens in the garden city on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.