Exotic Gardening with Rare and Strange Plants

A rather stressful day for the garden today. While at work I received a hectic phone call from my girlfriend. Apparently the roofers had arrived unexpectedly and a whole wack of plants needed to be moved if they were to get the job done. The ceiling in my room started to leak during the last rainstorm and our landlord is getting a new roof put on.  I was at work at the time and very little could be done to help, they moved what they needed to, and I arrived home after work to move the rest. The entire garden is in shambles,  splinters and old shingles litter the pavement. The whole experience puts cobwebs in my brain, my place of serenity temporarily locked up in chaos. Minor damages already apparent but surprisingly minimal. I’m happy to have a non leaking roof, but still a bit stressed about the health of the garden. While damages are normally minimal day to day, it’s hard to just accept broken specimens and ripped leaves, a little part of me dies.  The urban gardener may be spared from deer and other annoying garden pests, still what does one spray to prevent roofers from stacking their tools all over you freshly planted garden bed. 1 deep breathe and you let it all go, at the end of the day, all you can do is, rebuild.

On the bright side a PLANT HOARDING moment. A friend of mine at work brought me in a specimen of Zaluzianskya capensis otherwise known as night flowering phlox. The plant isn’t even a relative of phlox but has a habit that looks similar (I guess), it’s actually a distant relative of the snapdragon. Although I find the  flowers remincicent of silene, Zaluzianska is another strange plant for the collection. The blooms are closed during the day, and open in  the evening to reveal the strangest sweet almond-esk fragrance. Endemic to South Africa, it’s suspected that it’s night blooms are designed to be germinated by prowling moths. It’s sometimes planted as an annual and propagated by seed, if you’re crazy like myself it’s been known to overwinter indoors.

Zaluzianskya capensis

2 Responses to Garden Pests: Not bug, nor critter, but man it be.

  • Grace says:

    I grew Zaluzianskya [now there’s a mouthful] several years ago and didn’t think to bring it indoors. Please let us know how it winters over for you. I hope the roofers don’t cause too much more stress. How nice it will be when it’s all done and you can rearrange and make your garden your own once again. Hang in there.

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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.