Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Plants for the Patio

Since Saturday, the week has gone very quickly with Richard's mother here. She wanted to buy us a few more plants for the front patio, so he took the afternoon off yesterday and we visited our two favourite garden centres: Four Seasons, and Cosmea. I happened to have £5 vouchers for each of them, so said I'd spend those as well.

In all, we bought:
  • a bougainvillea to grow up the back fence
  • a couple of small geraniums
  • a fig tree
  • a plant called Eugenia
  • a plant whose name we don't know
I know about bougainvilleas. They need a fair amount of neglect, not too much water, full sun, and pruning every so often so they don't go totally wild.

Geraniums are easy enough, too. They tend to grow huge in this climate but it's easy enough to take cuttings and prune them back. They like sunshine or shade.

This is the fig tree. Rather small at present so I doubt if it will fruit for a while, but they seem to grow in all kinds of conditions so at present it's in the sun:

Here's the eugenia. It isn't mentioned in any of my plant books so I googled and found this site - which seems to suggest that there are several varieties, most of which have flowers and even sometime edible fruit. There were several other sites too, none of which was terribly helpful. We don't know which variety we have - I just hope it's not the huge type which can grow to a height of 20 metres or more, apparently! I thought I might be able to find some instructions for its care, but I didn't. The lady in the shop told me it was good in full sun, but that was about all.

As for this plant, we even don't know what it's called. We met a friend in the shop where we bought it, and she assured us that it grew well in full sun too... so we hope she's right.

Anyone know what it might be?

I'll be watching them all carefully as the weather gets warmer; if any of the plants starts to turn black or look unhappy, I'll move it to a shadier patch.

I shall also have to be careful to get the watering correct; over-watering and under-watering are both fatal to some plants, but I'm not very good at knowing how much is appropriate. Nor do I necessarily even remember to check how dry the soil is. Yesterday we watered very well after moving all the plants to suitable sized pots, and this evening the soil was still quite damp, so we're not at the stage of needing to water every day just yet.

Still, most of the plants we started last year - as described in this post (with photos) and this post (without photos) have done pretty well. The lavenders died... perhaps they weren't watered enough; I was surprised that the hibiscus lost their leaves during the winter, as I thought they were evergreen. But they're in bud again, looking healthy, as is the cyclamen, the geraniums, the antirrhinum, and the citrus trees.

It's beginning to feel as if Summer has started... I'm thankful that most of April has been relatively cool (for Cyprus) but on Monday the temperature reached about 28C in the shade, though it was cooler yesterday and today.

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