Exotic Gardening with Rare and Strange Plants

Acacia pravissima

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.

Acacia pravissima, native to the southern interior of Australia, seems to be coping well with our cool Victoria weather. Time change happened today, and darkness fell earlier then ever. While I have moved more then 150 plants of all shapes and sizes to warmer homes, some have been left to challenge the weather on their own. It’s a bit of a sick game I know but I’ve got to test the boundaries of the plant zones. Acacia pravissima is listed as a Zone 8a (-12C) of which it has the potential to survive this climate. I’ve read stories on Dave’s Garden that people have successfully grown this species in Seattle and Portland Oregon. I’m giving it a shot, and have faith in my frilly leafed friend.

The other day while doing my usual garden meander, I noticed small little globes developing on the stems of A. pravissima. Being native to the southern hemisphere could this plant be confused and think summer is right around the corner? This is hardly the case, temperatures have been dipping down to 2-3 degrees CelsiusĀ and I’ve seen at least one frost on the window of my car in the morning. Still it seems perfectly happy. Being somewhat susceptible to it’s roots freezing in it’s pot I’ve placed a good amount of straw around it’s base. If we have a mild winter it should be covered in yellow flowers by December. I will keep you updated.

Physostegia ssp in the background.

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.