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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Ground cover and recalcitrant canines

Okay it has been a while. First I moved in before work on the house at Alafua was completed. Although the contractor and his men have been gone a while now they have not quite completed all what they were supposed to do so the place is not exactly all ready. The main problem is the wiring as well as the lights and electrical outlets of the kitchen, bathroom and toilets have yet to be installed among a few other things.

However, that is all out of my control so I have been busy with the "landscaping" which at the moment means planting as many of the plants that need to be transplanted into the ground (rather than other pots or poly bags). It also means planting a hedge or rather several hedges and plant barriers between the various neighbours, the road front and the access road that runs down the back of the property to the creek.

I started by transplanting Flame violets (Episcia) as ground cover around the side where the bedrooms are and along the front of the house that looks out down the street. I have two varieties one with green leaves and bright red flowers
and another with burgundy leaves and pink flowers.

I have had to put cocoa wire over them to keep the four resident dogs (the owner has not come to take them yet) from digging the plants up. I had to rake and remove a whole lot of stones, bones and other rubbish from the area. The dogs were used to digging the soil up and making themselves nice soft beds there as well as all around the house. So far the cocoa wire has kept them off the plants and most have not only recovered but are flowering and look on their way to establishing a nice ground cover.

Unfortunately for some reason the burgundy leaved Flame violets do not seem to be doing too well. Admittedly I did not have that many of them to start off with and very few of those were in top condition. I suspect that the fact that the area these are in has a lot more sun may be a factor.

I also took some Heliconia and Hedychium from Malifa to plant at Alafua.

I planted them both on the side of the bedrooms along the fence with the Helliconia along the fence and the Hedyciums further in. The Heliconia were Heliconia caribea which are the giant ones. One of the varieties I am certain is a cream and the other I am not so sure but is alot more showy than the cream. Once they grow into a decent sized stand they will provide a tall leafy  screen and produce nice flowers as well.

For the Hedychium I have three varieties so far and decided to plant the Yellow Hedychium (Hedychium flavenscens) in this location because they have very big flower heads and a strong scent. The other two varieties seem to be Hedychium coronarium since it is white and the other is sort or salmon coloured but I have not been able to identify it yet. I think it is Hedychium augustiflolium "Peach" I will also plant these two at Alafua although I am not sure when or where. I may try planting some along the creek bank which has been greatly eroded over the last 20 years since I used to go swiming and exploring there.

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