Early morning tropical breezes and spectacular sunsets still waif through my mind of an unforgettable trip with all the females in my family. Daughter, granddaughters, great granddaughters and spices of my grandsons took off for one of those family adventures we are so famous for doing…
Walks, swimming, and shopping filled our days. Whales breached, porpoises and turtles gave rise to stimulate our senses as we basked on the sun-soaked sandy beaches. A day of driving found spectacular – almost hidden coastlines, along the upper west side of Maui that still haunt the sole of this adventurer wanting to explore more!
Everywhere we went, we saw flowers of every shape, size and color. Oft times, one of my great granddaughters would sport a pretty flower in her hair as we walked along groomed landscaping. As cute as she looked, the condition of the plants disturbed me. It seemed the “look” was to shear the plants into boxed or ball shapes. This practice meant flowers were cut into pieces to conform to a desired shape.
|Right plant, right place|
Let’s face it, some plants are meant to hedge, while others will eventually suffer as seen with this hibiscus. Throughout our journey, we witnessed reoccurring sheared plants found chopped into to specific confined shaped despite their natural growth patterns. For example, bougainvillea is a climber naturally reaching for the the sky or billowing over the landscape terrain and showing off brilliant intense shaded brackets that stun the eye. Yet viewed, these spectacular climbers were reduced to four foot hedges that lined the sidewalks. Given the thorns on this plant, I can understand the need to keep it pruned, however there are so many plants that would perform as well without the need to butcher the plant into conformity.
We did observe a small leaf hedge with random tiny white flowers that responded well to shearing. The fragrance of the flower filled the air around it and made it impossible to go forward without seeking out the source of such sweetness. If I had to venture a guess, I would put this in the jasmine family. I know some of you will come back with the botanical name. Do I have any takers out there???
The more I saw, the more I was lead to share the lesson learned about placing plants in the landscape. First seek out as much information as you can about the plant before purchasing or placing it in the ground. Give a plant room to grow into its natural shape unless you are striving for topiary as seen in places like Disneyland. Be certain the plant will grow in your USDA planting zone. Check that it is compatible with the micro climate where it is placed. Is it a sun lover or does it prefer shade? Does it require drought conditions, good drainage and rich loamy soil? If purchasing trees, make certain there aren’t power lines directly over head. This practice of putting the right plant in the right place will save a lot of gardening time and find plants thriving with minimal effort on the part of the gardener. Admittedly, the landscaped areas left this visitor sorry for the unnatural growing conditions found in the urban settings.
Alas, even “island time” comes to an end. The pounding of waves along the shoreline are captured on our cell phones and cameras. Bits of sand seemed to have lodged into suitcases as we unpacked upon our arrival home, yet photos may be forgotten, and the sand will be swept away, it will be the memories that long remain in our hearts.
Have a great weekend. Aloha….