Archive for November, 2011

Stray plants in the garden normally spell trouble but not when they are Thymophylla Tenuiloba seedlings.

These tiny seedlings could never be mistaken for a weed; not with their soft, fine, scented leaves.

We bought a pot of Thymophylla Tenuiloba many years ago; a froth of small dainty yellow flowers which threatened to spill over the sides of the pot.

The original plants are long gone, but Nature has been propagating this seemingly delicate perennial without any help from me.

Lately, more stray seedlings have appeared and I’ve been relocating them to a bigger planter.

I’ve been thinking … if a small pot of Thymophylla Tenuiloba can be so pretty, imagine a wide expanse of this yellow sunshine. Maybe I should speed things up by giving Nature a hand …


Care and propagation: Full sun, well-drained soil, water moderately. Propagate using seeds.

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‘Angel’s Trumpet’. The brugmansia’s common name suits this pendulous beauty to a tee. The trumpets are lovely in any colour; waxy white, as well as luscious peach, yellow and pink.

A single flower is mesmerizing enough in terms of its beauty, size and fragrance; a tree in full bloom just defies description.

But much as I love it, I’ve never had the opportunity of growing the brugmansia; it’s too hot where I am.

Fortunately for me, the brugmansia blooms with glorious abandon up in our tropical highlands, so I get to see them when I have the opportunity to visit.

I have tried taking cuttings, but none ever made beyond a couple of months.

That is, until Calvin, another gardening enthusiast and a brugmansia expert, gave me a few of his Brugmansia Ms Emily Mackenzie cuttings. With his encouragement and numerous tips, a couple rooted and grew.

I transferred them to larger pots and placed them where they would get some shade.

Growth was a little erratic but when they stabilized, I looked out for signs of branching – apparently this indicated that it would be budding soon. Alas, the main stems just grew vertically.

Then one day, I saw one, then two buds! How could I have missed the initial signs?

The first bud lengthened quickly over the days and I went over the top, measuring it every day.

Soon a tight whorl of pale yellow petals and amazingly long tendrils emerged from the calyx. Strange … I had been expecting to see pink.

And then, it happened.

The pale yellow petals of the Ms Emily Mackenzie changed to the softest shade of salmon pink overnight, and then to a deeper glorious shade the next day. It was a touch of the Master’s hand; God’s masterpiece.

And the fragrance of the Angel’s Trumpet? Just heavenly.

Care and propagation: filtered or partial sun; top soil (shaded from the blazing tropical sun); water generously; feed regularly; propagate using seeds (not tried this myself), hardwood or semi-hardwood cuttings or by air layering.

my inspiration up in the highlands

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