09 November 2011

Not so Wordless Wednesday: Hibiscus for Curing Winter Blahs

It comes as no surprise to readers of this blog that I am not a fan of NO-vember, surely the worst month of the year in the really Northern Hemisphere. Between the cold winds, the grey bleak landscapes, the lack of sun, the lack of daylight, the fading gardens...it's just not a happy time for those of us who like long mild bright days of the gardening season.

Happily, I've long found that a relief for the NO-vember blahs is to surround myself with colourful tropical plants. One of my all-time favourites is the hibiscus, which makes a great patio plant in the warm months, and is well suited for a bright indoor location in many homes.

The first hibiscus I can remember seeing and sighing over were the traditional red or bright pink, and while I still think those are fantastic, I find myself drawn to other hot, bright colours such as this orange beauty.
And there are several nice shades of yellow from pale creamy almost-white to this lovely tint to buttercup yellow.
During recent visits to Den Haan's Nursery in Middleton, I found myself checking out some new hybrids that I hadn't seen before. Called the Gold Series, they have enormous flowers similar in size to the 'Luna' hibiscus grown in gardens, sometimes as tender perennials and sometimes as longer-lived perennials even here in Nova Scotia. This variety is called Red Velvet, and while the photo isn't bad, it doesn't truly do the flower justice, as it's a deep rich red, the darkest I've seen.
This series of hibiscus not only has huge (8 inch or more) flowers in striking colours, the blooms are said to last for three or four days, unlike the blooms on the common houseplant varieties usually seen. I was rendered pretty much speechless by this one, called 'Northern Light', and decided I had better bring it home to test out the advertising about length of bloom life. Granted, my regular hisbicus varieties tend to have their flowers last for a couple of days because they usually live in my office, a bright but relatively cool room.

For those who asked about the potting bench in my previous post: I didn't build it, but it was built for me from plans found in an issue of Saltscapes magazine some years ago. I've asked the editorial team if they could find the issue (I can't seem to lay my hands on it) and once I get a copy of the article or a link to it, I'll share it here in a post.

That's it for this time--just to tease you a little, I should have an announcement to make within a few weeks, as I am embarking on a new venture that I hope will appeal to gardeners in our region and beyond. Keep watching this space, as the saying goes!


  1. A sort of floppy poppy with a bottle brush middle. What an extraordinary flower!

  2. An announcement ? Can't wait to hear.

    Lovely post btw.

  3. Colorful hibiscus parade on this dreary day, Jodi. Anxious for the news!

  4. Love the hibiscus - and looking forward to your news! :)

  5. What a beautiful Hibiscus collection! I will need similar encouragement in February and March--the months I loathe the most. At least in November, the weather is still decent on some days and some fall foliage is still colorful. Can't wait to hear about your news--especially since I'm in your region. Cheers!

  6. oh i love the hibiscus with 3-day-blooming period. Our hibiscus are left outside through rain or shine, sometimes not even taken care of. Contrary to yours our November is when we slightly have a taste of a bit colder winds, which are just spillover colds from Siberia and Mongolia. Can you imagine what we have been through with the rest of the year. That means gardening is difficult because of high temps and humidity, but once our garden starts to grow we can neglect them, just appreciate the flowers.

  7. Hi Jodi: That the design for the potting bench was found in Saltscapes was all the information needed. Many thanks! Now, if I can find a willing carpenter . . .

    Your feature on hibiscus reminded me of our time in Virginia. We had hardy Hibiscus growing outside, and it was always a treat to see the shrubs in bloom.

  8. Hello Jodi

    I am Brazilian photographer André.
    I was traveling through your blog and I really enjoyed the photos.
    Creativity, harmony, sensitivity, are the photos you did.
    All in good taste and beauty!
    I am already following.
    When you visit my blog goes, I would be happy with your comments.

    Thank you for your attention.

    André Tavares.


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