It’s Gardener Bloggers Bloom Day, the 15 of every month. Winter is a good time to visit the local conservatories to get one’s fix of “Bloom.” Recently I discovered Blueberry Ice bougainvillea at the Brookside Gardens conservatory in Wheaton, Maryland. This plant fascinated me because it was exactly opposite of the type of bougainvillea I grew up with in the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia. In the tropics, we had bougainvillea vines climbing up the sides of houses and buildings, as common as wisteria is where I now live in Northern Virginia. The green leaves and papery thin salmon flowers (really modified leaves called bracts) colored the buildings for months at a time. So I was intrigued by Blueberry Ice at the conservatory because it had cream/green variegated leaves, it was only about 2 feet tall, and it had bracts the color of grape popsicles. Think of how useful this small tropical plant could be here in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Grown as a summer annual, Blueberry Ice would thrive in a hanging basket, window box, or container. It will scoff at our heat and humidity and reward us with color all summer long. I love it when a new cultivar changes the paradigm and gives new meaning to what a bougainvillea could be in my garden.
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Join me on Saturday, October 1, 10:30 to 11:30 am, as I talk about culinary herbs–how to grow and use them the kitchen. This will be at Green Spring Gardens, Alexandria, VA. Register with them here. If you are interested in having me speak to your organization, please contact me. I enjoy talking about culinary herbs and edible flowers and we continue the conversation in the Facebook group Culinary Herbs and Spices.
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