Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Gingers -- a Snap to Grow

Ginger lilies are members of the Zingiberaceae family, a tropical perennial originating from Southern Asia and introduced to Europe in the early 1800's.

Last week, Crossroads Garden Club members, Mike (Vice President) and Cindy Christie, invited
members to their house to enjoy their gingers blooming in their gardens. Although (embarrassing), I wasn't familiar with ginger plants, I knew they must be spectacular and was very excited to oblige.

Oh boy, what a treat to enjoy their tropical paradise only a few miles from my house! My experience with growing tropical plants has been elephant ears, canna and an occasional banana plant (very occasional, once).

But for Mike and Cindy growing ginger plants or lilies are a snap.

Gingers come in many sizes, shapes and colors (white, yellow, pink and red). They like rich soil full of humus and plenty of moisture. Good drainage is also a must, many varieties can withstand a slight freeze, so our central Georgia, sub-tropical climate will sustain many varieties over winter.

Above you see a ginger that makes a good border plant. Many types will grow to seven, plus feet making a great plant to locate at the back of a garden spot. Gingers, also look good in pots on decks, patios and balconies. Grow in partial shade to full sun.

Mike and Cindy moved here twenty years ago from our neighbor "sunshine" state, Florida and have been working to fill their yard with tropical plants, ever since. Gingers are only one of their favorite plants, they also have cannas, ferns, hostas, azaleas, and more than I can remember including a fifteen foot (or taller) palm tree. I took 87 pictures total of all the different foliage around their house.

Mike admits the hardest job sustaining his tropical paradise is moving his potted plants inside during winter and back out in spring, however, his citrus trees like this lemon tree seen above is not a problem, as they enjoy using the fruit.

Limes, seen above, are used in many recipes, as well as, herbs grown in pots all around the deck located at the back of their home, different types of basil, thyme, rosemary and yes, even an edible ginger spice plant.

The back drop off their deck is filled with healthy tropical plants. Am I somewhere vacationing close the equator?

Mike is very proud of this tangerine, seen above, his favorite citrus growing in the back yard. 

After twenty years, this area is the only grass left in their yard. Amazingly, they live in a subdivision where everyone has lots of grass to cut. Gosh, wish I could get rid of the four acres I cut every week!

Garden ornaments, arbors, bird baths, statues are everywhere mingled within all the gardens. Check out the ginger to the right of this picture.

Recently, this attractive rock walkway was installed leading down to the backyard. Gingers, ferns and other tropical plants are planted on each side.
This gorgeous white ginger seen above is a variety that adds a sweet smell to any are similar to gardenias.
I've never considered growing ginger plants, but Mike and Cindy make it look easy to grow this beautiful summer bloomer just "a Snap to Grow." I think I'll plant some in the spring next to my elephant ears and canna plants (I may even try another banana), hope you try, too.
Until Next Time.......
Happy Gardening 2013!
Posted by Wilma Smith

No comments:

Post a Comment