Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gardening: Birds of Paradise

In my neighborhood, the houses are so close together that you can carry on a conversation with the next door neighbor while you're both sitting at your own kitchen tables. This really doesn't bother me, apart for my back yard. When I'm out in my lanai or pool, I'd like to have total privacy. A year or so after moving in we started planting things around the lanai that would grow tall and thick enough to give us some privacy.

You can see in this photo how close the neighbor's lanai is. At one point, there is only about a foot of land separating them. We wanted something that would be drought tolerant, giving us a tropical feel so we planted two white Birds of Paradise on the corners with a Rubber Tree in between. In the course of about 6 months, they shot up to almost the height you see in this photo.

Here is a close up of the combination. We liked it so much that we've planted the same arrangement on the other corner of the lanai. It doesn't get as much sun as the other side, so is slower growing.
Here are a few "Birds" getting ready to bloom.

Here is one that is blooming. We didn't have any blooms at all the first two years that we had them, and this year it really seems to be taking off.

This is a shot of regular Bird of Paradise that we have. It doesn't get as tall as the white ones, but we love the colors.

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