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Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul. By Luther Burbank

Here you get an exotic collection of colorful flowers to have in your garden. If you are planning to decorate your home using these flowers, you can go for Ikebana flower arrangement,which uses flowers to make decorative centrepieces. Read about 8 Unique styles of Ikebana arrangements here.

1.Alstroemeria

This flower is commonly called Peruvian Lily or lily of the Incas or Parrot lily. A native of South America, this flower is regarded as the flower of friendship. Alstroemeria flowers bloom during late spring or early summer.

2.Camellia japonica or Japanese camellia

This is a very popular flower in the genus camellia. It is commonly called the Rose of winter. Japanese Camellia is the official flower of Alabama. This flower possess brilliant symmetry and strikingly similar to a rose flower.

3.Crysanthemum

This flower comes in a variety of shape and sizes and in different colors. They are native to Asia and northeastern Europe. Crysanthemums are tropical flowers.

4.Daisy

Daisy or common daisy is one of the commonly found flowers on earth. They are native to north and central Europe. This flower symbolizes innocence and purity. More details from Encyclopaedia Britannica – Daisy flower.

5.Dahlia

Dahlia flowers are native to Mexico. There are over 40 species of dahlia flowers. They bloom in different colors and sizes, with one flower head per stem.

6.Dandelion

Dandelions are native to North America. The flower gets its name from the French word dent-de-lion, meaning lion’s tooth.

7.Dendrobium Smilliae

This beautiful flower is commonly found in Australia. Also known as Bottlebrush Orchid.

8.Dianthus

There are numerous varieties of dianthus, so that there is one suited for every garden. They are native to Europe and Asia. Most popular varieties of dianthus are Carnations, Sweet William and Cottage Pinks. Read more here : Plant care guide about Dianthus from plant.org

9.Drumstick Allium

Drumstick allium is one of the summer blooming alliums. The blooms are egg-shaped, and are red-purple in color.

10.Echinacea

Echinacea is a beautiful flower having medicinal properties. It helps in improving immune system. These are summer blooming flowers. Get more info about Echinacea flower from Missouri Botanical Garden.

11.Galanthus Nivalis

This is the best known flower in galanthus genus. Commonly called snow drops, these flowers bloom during spring season.

12.Gerbera Daisy

This flower resembles daisy and is commonly known as African daisy. Gerbera is widely used as a decorative flower, owing to its attractive appearance. They are native to South America, Africa and Asia. More facts about Gerbera daisy from BHG.com.

13.Grass of Parnassus

This flower is also known as bogstar. The plant is not a grass, and the flowers bloom from July to September. The flower is named after Mount Parnassus in Greece.

14.Lily of the valley

These flowers have very strong, sweet fragrance during spring time. The tiny, white colored, bell shaped flowers spread easily and are very eye-catching.

15.Lisianthus

This flower is popular as a decorative flower and a cut flower. The plant can be grown indoors. Lisianthus blooms during summer and fall.

16.Lupine

Growing lupines in your garden means a garden full of vibrant colors, such is the attractiveness of lupines. This is a short lived perennial commonly found in the United States.

17.Narcissus

Narcissus is a genus of perennial plants that blooms during spring. They are commonly called daffodils. The flowers are white or yellow in color. These flowers are native to the Mediterranean region.Read more here: Narcissus facts from flowers.org.

18.Orchids

The flowers in orchid family are very colorful and most of them are fragrant. These flowers represent beauty at its best and is a must have member in every garden. Check out what American orchid society say about what to do with orchids.

19.Plumeria

These gorgeous flowers are widely used for decorative purposes such as in making floral garlands, wedding bouquets etc. This flower is also known by the name Frangipani. Plumeria flowers possess an enticing fragrance. They also form excellent cut flowers.

20.Pom pom Dahlia

These are slightly smaller than the usual dahlias and are ball shaped, sometimes perfectly round.

21.Poppy

This plant is grown in every garden because of their colorful and attractive flowers. Poppies are commonly found in the Mediterranean region. Check this amazing article from bbc about why this poppy ?

22.Purple Allium

These flowers form a 3 inch wide globe full of purple flowers. They stand out in any garden owing to their appearance. This flower is also known as Persian Onion.

23.Ranunculus

Ranunculus are known for their brilliant colored flowers. The image shown here is that of buttercups, which flowers during spring time.

24.Rudbeckia Hirta

This is one of the most popular wild flowers grown in home gardens. Rudbeckia hirta is commonly known as Black-eyed Susan. They are native to North America.

25.Snapdragon

These flowers are called snapdragons because of their resemblance to the face of a dragon. They are good to grow both indoors and outdoors. They grow easily in all gardens under all climates.Here you get more information about snapdragon from Cornell university.

26.Spoon Daisy

This flower is also known as African daisy or Cape daisy. They can be easily identified by their distinct spoon shaped petals. They prefer warm and sunny climate.

27.Tulip

These flowers are called lipsticks of garden because they make your garden beautiful with their wide array of colors. They grow best in regions with dry summers and cold winters. Learn more about tulips here- tulip facts for kids.

28.Veronica

Also called speedwell, this is an easy to grow perennial plant. The flowers are in the form of 1 to 3 feet tall spikes, with small petals, that are blue, pink, purple or white in color. They blooms from spring to autumn.

29.Viola

Viola or Violets are a genus of plants with spring blooming flowers. They are native to northern hemisphere. They grows best in moist and slightly shaded conditions.

30.Zinnia

Zinnia flowers are colorful flowers coming under daisy family. They are native to South America. Small zinnias are suitable for growing in containers as well. Get more info about Zinnia here from Chicago botanical garden – The hardest working flowers in summer.

Let us know which flower amazed you the most. We would love to hear from you…

Weird and wonderful exotic plants to grow in your garden

With newer plants there is always some uncertainty about how they will perform. But now, through feedback from customers and the testing of plants outside at Crûg Farm (subjected in recent winters to 100mph gales and temperatures plunging below -15°C), a large body of knowledge has been amassed. I asked Bleddyn to survey his collections, and recommend 12 plants that have performed consistently well and that he is most proud of introducing.

TREE

1 Acer campbellii var. campbellii

Bleddyn recalls collecting seed from this medium-sized maple in the Himalayas at an altitude of 3,000m (10,000ft) with snow on the ground, and considers it one of the most stunning plants he has ever brought back. The palmate leaves, held on scarlet stalks, open a deep copper colour, mature to green, and turn orange in the autumn. Equally impressive is the striped bark, which is glaucous and purplish when young, maturing to a good snake-bark pattern. Given shelter from cold wind, it grows well in sun or light shade.

SHRUBS

2 Fatsia polycarpa

Introduced into cultivation by Crûg Farm from seed collected in Taiwan in 1996, I think this is a great addition to the cast of shrubs available for shady sites. It differs from the familiar Japanese false castor oil plant, F. japonica, in having leaves with more rounded and more deeply cut lobes, and its flowers, produced late in the year, are a more colourful, gingery-cream. It makes a striking foliage plant. Bleddyn considers it hardier than F. japonica, and in my own garden it has also taken very low temperatures without damage.

3 Illicium simonsii

Collected in Szechuan, China from a 3,000m (10,000ft) high moraine, this evergreen shrub is one Bleddyn describes as having “a tidy shape and all-year interest”. It makes an attractive pyramid of elliptical leaves that are highly aromatic, and its pale yellow starry flowers, produced in spring, are also scented. They are followed by seed heads “like star-anise – but poisonous”. It needs good light but also, unfortunately for many gardeners, an acidic soil.

4 Schefflera taiwaniana

For me, the scheffleras are the most exciting of the woody plants that the Wynn-Joneses have introduced into gardens. Distinctive and exotic, with fingered evergreen leaves held in an elegant umbrella-like poise, they naturally form slender trees but can also be pruned to grow as multi-stemmed shrubs. From among the different species, Bleddyn singles out S. taiwaniana for its reliability. In my own garden it has also sailed through harsh winters without the slightest damage. I have moved one of substantial size with no ill effect.

“It likes moisture, and in the wild often grows in standing water, but in gardens is best in well-drained, leafy soil,” says Bleddyn. “We collected it on the edge of high mountain forest in Taiwan in 1996, while earthquakes were going on. They are always having earthquakes in Taiwan.”

5 Pachysandra axillaris ‘Crûg’s Cover’

I grabbed a pot of this low-growing ground cover shrub to take home the moment I smelled it. The white, pink-tinged bottlebrush flowers have a deliciously sophisticated scent, like wintersweet; they open above the broad, toothed leaves in winter and are followed by interesting reddish-pink fruits. It was collected in Szechuan in moist scrub, growing under hydrangeas, and Bleddyn says it has proved problem-free in shade in his garden – even dry shade – and spreads quite fast.

6 Pittosporum daphniphylloides

“I remember us having to dodge landslides while collecting this in Taiwan – boulders bigger than our car rolling through the forest and bouncing over the road.” This is a large evergreen shrub with textured, glossy and leathery leaves and clusters of scented, greenish-yellow flowers in early summer followed by capsules of red fruits. The more commonly grown Australasian pittosporums are often cut back or killed by hard frosts, and are usually treated as wall shrubs. Bleddyn says that this Asian pittosporum, though appreciating sun and shelter, is hardier. He even has young plants growing in an open field.

7 Viburnum arboricolum

“This is very hardy here in spite of its looks.” A large evergreen shrub with paddle-shaped leaves, this viburnum Bleddyn remembers collecting from a mountain forest in Taiwan in early morning mist. It produces a generous display of scented white flower panicles in summer, followed by red fruits “which the birds tend to leave until they have eaten everything else.”

CLIMBER

8 Holboellia brachyandra

“I remember a mother water buffalo getting very upset as we collected this on a woodland edge in Vietnam.” This evergreen climber has absolutely superb flowers in late spring – large white bells, tinged purple at the base, and scrumptiously scented “of cantaloupe melon”. However, it does need a degree of cosseting – notably, shelter, a good soil, some sun, and protection from hard frosts until it is mature. It would thrive in a cool greenhouse or porch.

PERENNIALS

9 Aralia cordata

(ALAMY)

“If you feed it, it can grow to 4m (13ft),” says Bleddyn of this impressive perennial, collected from woodland in Japan. With strong stems (usually to around 2m/6ft) and big leaves, it looks exotic but takes very low temperatures. Racemes of green globular flowers appear in late summer followed by purple berries.

10 Disporum nantauense

(ALAMY)

Collected in moist mountain forest in Taiwan, this is one of a number of members of the Solomon’s Seal family that has been introduced by the Wynn-Joneses at Crûg Farm. Clusters of scented creamy-yellow flowers, tinged reddish-brown at the mouth, appear on the ends of the 46cm (18in) stems in late spring and early summer, followed by black berries. Bleddyn says that it is not for very cold and wet gardens, but is otherwise easy; it has performed well in leafy shade in my own garden for years.

11 Polygonatum stenanthum

Bleddyn calls this “a sensational species, with the largest flowers among Solomon’s Seals”. Collected in a cold area of forest in Japan, it is easily grown in moist, decently drained, shady conditions. The flowers are white with striking green stripes. Impressively, the are produced on stems up to 2m (6ft) tall.

12 Roscoea purpurea ’Vannin’

A hardy member of the ginger family, this beautiful perennial in late summer produces large, white, orchid-like flowers with pale lilac shading from stout maroon-red stems. It is easily grown in well-drained, leafy soil, and does well in my garden in partial shade. Bleddyn vividly recalls collecting it from cliffs in a remote area of Nepal in 2002. “We were being pestered by Maoists, trying to extort money out of us ‘for safe passage’. In the end we paid – they had guns.”

*All available from Crûg Farm Plants (01248 670232; crug-farm.co.uk)

What Is A Subtropical Climate – Tips On Gardening In The Subtropics

When we talk about gardening climates, we often use the terms tropical, subtropical or temperate zones. Tropical zones, of course, are the warm tropics around the equator where summer like weather is year round. Temperate zones are cooler climates with four seasons – winter, spring, summer and autumn. So exactly what is a subtropical climate? Continue reading for the answer, as well as a list of plants that grow in the subtropics.

What is a Subtropical Climate?

Subtropical climates are defined as the areas adjacent to the tropics. These areas are usually located 20-40 degrees north or south of the equator. Southern areas of the U.S., Spain, and Portugal; the north and south tips of Africa; the mid-eastern coast of Australia; southeastern Asia; and parts of the Middle East and South America are subtropical climates.

In these areas, summer is very long, hot and often rainy; winter is very mild, usually without frost or freezing temperatures.

Gardening in the Subtropics

Subtropical landscape or garden design borrows a lot of its flair from the tropics. Bold, bright colors, textures and shapes are common in subtropical garden beds. Dramatic hardy palms are used frequently in subtropical gardens to provide deep green color and unique texture. Flowering plants like hibiscus, bird of paradise and lilies have bright tropical feeling colors that nicely contrast evergreen palms, yucca or agave plants.

Subtropical plants are selected for their tropical appeal, but also for their hardiness. Plants in the some subtropical areas have to endure blazing heat, thick humidity, times of heavy rains or long periods of drought, and also temperatures that can drop as low as 0 F. While subtropical plants may have the exotic look of tropical plants, many of them also have the hardiness of temperate plants.

Below are some of the beautiful plants that grow in the subtropics:

Trees and Shrubs

  • Avocado
  • Azalea
  • Bald Cypress
  • Bamboo
  • Banana
  • Bottlebrush
  • Camellia
  • Chinese Fringe
  • Citrus Trees
  • Crape Myrtle
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fig
  • Firebush
  • Flowering Maple
  • Forest Fever Tree
  • Gardenia
  • Geiger Tree
  • Gumbo Limbo Tree
  • Hebe
  • Hibiscus
  • Ixora
  • Japanese Privet
  • Jatropha
  • Jessamine
  • Lychee
  • Magnolia
  • Mangrove
  • Mango
  • Mimosa
  • Oleander
  • Olive
  • Palms
  • Pineapple Guava
  • Plumbago
  • Poinciana
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Sausage Tree
  • Screw Pine
  • Trumpet Tree
  • Umbrella Tree

Perennials and Annuals

  • Agave
  • Aloe Vera
  • Alstroemeria
  • Anthurium
  • Begonia
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Bougainvillea
  • Bromeliads
  • Caladium
  • Canna
  • Calathea
  • Clivia
  • Cobra Lily
  • Coleus
  • Costus
  • Dahlia
  • Echeveria
  • Elephant Ear
  • Fern
  • Fuchsia
  • Ginger
  • Gladiolus
  • Heliconia
  • Kiwi Vine
  • Lily-of-the-Nile
  • Medinilla
  • Pentas
  • Salvia

What kind of shrub with long green spiky leaves is this?

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