Exotic Gardening with Rare and Strange Plants


Life is certainly looking up! The roofer’s left a couple days ago and I’ve spent the majority of the last two nights piecing the garden back together. In the midst of the setup I’ve decided to take the opportunity to clean some things up, reorganize and generally make the most of the plants in my collection. Things are looking so much better, there is still some chaos but I’m almost done cleaning it up. It’s great to have my garden back.

In other news, while visiting Salt Spring Island this weekend I managed to visit one of my favorite nurseries, Fraser Thimble Farms. If you’re ever visiting the island it’s well worth checking out. They feature a wide variety of the strange and unusual, ranging from native wonders such as Devils Club (Oplopanax horridus) to hardy orchids, strange ferns, jack in the pulpits and much more. While it’s a little more amazing visiting in May, Fraser Thimble Farms still had a lot of interesting things to peruse. No photos this time, but let me tell you I ended up leaving with a couple passion flowers for my folks, and a empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa) for myself. Excellent.

I’ve been so busy getting everything in order that it’s been quite a while since I’ve had a decent photo shoot. I’m hoping to spend tomorrow afternoon snapping photos, but for the moment I did get the chance to nab a couple. A quick tour of the green scenery thus far.

Clematis, Fatsia, and Acer.

The cacti in the greenhouse remained safe during the construction, how nice.

I’ve had a hit out for these shasta daisies for some time now. They’re taking prime real estate and it’s questionable if they deserve it. The strange thing is, this is probably the best they’ve ever looked. They must sense their untimely demise just around the corner. I will still have to give this some thought…

Abutilon pictum ‘Thompsonii ‘ has given non stop blooms since I first found it in early May. I’m afraid I’m going to have a small Abutilon forest forming in my living room this winter. This is my life…

I thought this spider web looked rather clever. It looks like someone scribbled all over the photo, it reminds me of a some spiders I saw in a youtube video the other day. Click here for a laugh.

Although the center bed probably has the best soil in the garden, it often ends up as a place where I jigsaw in all my potted tropical specimens. The castor bean and the scarlet runners are thriving this year, a 12 foot tall sunflower towers above. Jerusalem artichoke are competing for height, the canopy adds a great dimension to the garden.

More photos to come soon! Thanks for stopping by.

One Response to Welcome back to the garden…

  • Mark and Gaz says:

    The garden and plants are looking great Nat! The native plant you mentioned, Oplopanax horridus is still very much a novelty here, and is one of my favourite plants in the garden.

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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.