Heliconias- they love the rain!

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I love the rainy season in Liberia.

I think I am one of the few Liberians who actually look forward to the rainy season.

Mostly because the place is so cool but mostly because everything turns green.

Everywhere you look, you see plants thriving.

oct 2012 (2)I have several plants in my garden that thrive on the amount of rain that falls

I read somewhere that Monrovia is the wettest capital city in the world…so that tells you the amount of rain we get each year is no joke.

The heliconia plants particularly love the water.

I love them for several reasons:

  1. They are guaranteed to give you beautiful bright colored flowers all year round.
  2. They require minimal care- just make sure they get lots of water and fertilizing every few months.
  3. They give wonderful flowers that can be used for cut flower arrangement that lasts for up to 2 weeks under ideal condition.

Downside- they can quickly take over the garden if you aren’t watchful.

Absolutely gorgeous!

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My Variety of the Hibiscus Plant

I love the hibiscus plant. They require minimal care and give you beautiful flowers all year round. The only problem I face with them at times is white flies. I have a few more that are still young and haven’t bloomed yet.

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Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

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Alphinas- Year Round Beauties

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I saw this plant in a floral arrangement someone sent a friend some years ago and fell in love with it immediately. It loves a lot of water and if you fertilize regularly, you get very healthy plants all year round. Very easy to maintain once established. I now have the red, pink and white. The pink and white haven’t bloomed yet, so I am anxiously watching them.

 

The Beginning of My Obsession

I mostly grew up in the home of my grandmother who was a flower enthusiast.

Back then, all of us kids in the family never understood her obsession with plants and would moan and take deep sighs when we were told to go ‘water the flowers”.

Everyone-and I mean everyone-knew better than to mess around with Tata’s (as she was called) flowers. Don’t pick the leaves, don’t pick the flowers. Don’t dig the sand. Blah blah blah.

We would watch her sitting for hours pruning and lovingly grooming her plants.

When I first moved out of the family home and into my own apartment, I asked her to please give me a few potted plants to place around my home and in the tiny yard.

She had this pained look, but after a few minutes to cajoling her, she agreed to give me a few plants but with the solemn promise that I won’t kill them.

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I happily took them home, placed them “strategically” and generally just looked at them now and again. Once in a while, I would water them. But that was the extent of my care.

After a few weeks, I noticed they started to die.

I was scared and ashamed to go ask her for help so I just let them die.

One day months later, she asked me how the plants were doing and I smiled and said “They are doing well Tata”. I couldn’t look her in the eye so quickly changed the topic.

When I left her home that day, I stopped by one of the local roadside flower sale centers and bought a few plants that seem to resemble the ones she had given me. For the life of me I couldn’t remember how they looked, much less the names of the plants.

Few days later, she came to visit and told me “you killed them, that’s why I didn’t want to give you my plants”

I felt ashamed and hurt. Why all the fuss over some doggone flowers? Geeze.

Up until my grandma’s death four years ago at age 83, she was still an avid gardener. She couldn’t move around like before, but she sure had a sharp tongue that was good at instructing people on what to do: “move that one over there”, “ pour only on the leaves”, etc.

For some reason that I still cannot understand or really explain, from the moment my grandmother died in July 2009 a feeling came over me. I kid you not.

I just felt this deep passion, this connection to plants. It felt like a deep yearning, an obsession. I really find it hard to explain and all I can say is that her love for flowers passed to me upon her death.

Now, the entire family roll their eyes at my obsession. My husband, kids, domestic workers all know how much of a passion gardening is to me.

We move to a neighborhood 4 years ago that was basically virgin with beach-like sand. Very fine and smooth. Definitely not ideal for gardening.

Thus began my long term plan to turn my yard into an exotic plant paradise.

It’s been hard, frustrating and difficult with many challenges, but I am getting there.

This page is dedicated to my one public obsession: my love for plants.

I hope you love plants like I do and will come to appreciate the pictures I will post of my achievements (and failures) as the years go by.