Sunday, 5 February 2012

More from Tony's garden

Have you seen one of these before? 

I hadn't, until I noticed in my brother Tony's garden a year or so back.  I saw it again during my Christmas visit, and have been wondering ever since what it was and how I could find out. This weekend when the pups and I headed down to Ballina again, I asked Tony (now why didn't I think of that last time). He found the original tag, which made it easy.

It's Aphelandra sinclairiana 'Panama Queen'. I love the sizzling tropical colour combination of the pink flowers with orange bracts. It's a tall shrub (about 9 foot). I brought home a piece, and this afternoon, I planted 4 tip cuttings and still have more temporarily in water. Here's hoping I get at least one plant. I think I have the perfect spot!

Although the pups and I only arrived late on Saturday afternoon, we packed a good walk, a garden tour, as well as a trip to the beach, into 24 action-packed hours. It was only five weeks since our last visit, but there was still plenty to discover in the garden, starting right at the front doorstep.

I think it is a Brassia Orchid. (whoops, turns out it was a Miltonia!) Tony gave a small plant in bud that he thinks is the same. I hope so, I love it. All will be revealed when it flowers: I'll keep you posted.

Here are a few more from his orchid collection.

A late-flowering Dendrobium speciosum 'Zeloa'

Another example of the variety potted at the front door.

Onslow was quite oblivious of the Cattleya blooming behind him.

Dendrochilum magnum was brought into the house while it flowers.

Another orchid indoors temporarily, Zygopetalum Blue Lake 'Atlantis'

Back in the garden, many of the plants are in flower.

Fiddlewood Citharexylum spinosum 





Heliconia 'Golden Torch'

Heliconia rostrata

Ginger lily Hedychium gardnerianum 

Torch Ginger Etlingera elatior

Flowering Gum Eucalyptus

Finally, none of this would be possible without these little fellows and their like.

Tony keeps two hives of native (stingless) bees on his upstairs verandah.

Great job, guys! And thanks to Tony and Leanne for another fabulous garden tour and visit.


  1. Well the Orchids are fabulous, the Gingers and Heliconias are terrific, the Banksia is superb and that Aphelandra is just gorgeous. Your brother has some great plants in his garden. It's great to see you get some of the cuttings of these lovely things, and maybe some honey too??

    1. I love the gingers and heliconias too. I usually get to see some lovely ones at the Ginger Festival at Yandina at the end of January, but it was too wet to go this year.

  2. Marisa, sometimes when I look at the tropical flowers I feel as though I’ve entered another planet. Each one is so unique and different. I’m enthralled! Thanks for the great garden tour! How did your brother get into bees? I think every gardener would love to know. Please share more about that topic.

    1. Great idea, Lucy. I will find out a little more about keeping bees and report back.

  3. Perfectly fabulous garden fave is the Blue Lake 'Atlantis' leaves. How do you remember all their proper names...I once took a perennial class in college and had quite a difficult time with the latin terms. Sounds like a lovely visit. xx

    1. So lovely to hear from you again, Karena. I have missed you! Most of Tony's orchids were tagged so I had lots of help with the botanical names. I've got a helpful guide to tropical plants and I try to double check the name where I can, because so many common names vary from place to place. The Latin name makes it clearer regardless of location if anyone wants to hunt down a particular plant. Let me know if I stuff up!

  4. Uwielbiam oglądać inne kwiaty niż rosną w naszych ogrodach.Są piękne. Mam nadzieję, że Twój ogród będzie równie piękny, jak brata. Pozdrawiam. *** I love to watch other than grow flowers in our gardens. They are beautiful. I hope that your garden will be as beautiful as a brother. Yours.

    1. I love your cold climate plants too, Giga, and it is fun to enjoy gardens on the other side of the world.

  5. I discovered you through the leibster awards that Missy awarded to both of us! So glad I found your blog! I live further north than you, and so grow many of the same flowers. I wish my orchids flowered a bit more though - maybe it is bees that they need!

    1. Great to have you drop by. Tony tells me the secret is to feed my orchids more. I am going to try to be very conscientious this time round. My last orchid 'collection' went into a decline after a few years, and I bequeathed most of the survivors to him.

  6. It must be like heaven to have all those beautiful orchids in the garden. I hope your Panama Queen cuttings do well!

  7. Fingers crossed, Holley. Some plants seem to strike so easily, while others are a challenge. This one is an unknown quantity for me, but I will do my best.

  8. Hi Marisa
    great pictures!
    I love Orchids but prefer planting flowers in my garden more.
    Thank you for joining my Google friends.
    Did you notice that I have another blog?
    My new tropical flower blog:
    Pictures where taken during our vacations in the Dominican Republic.
    - Cheers Gisela

  9. Thanks for dropping by Gisela. I did take a peak at your tropical blog and I expect I will be a regular. Your blog might help me to identify some of the 'mystery' tropical plants I have found here in Indonesia.



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