Friday, October 15, 2010


Not much of a reference , but a great cover.

I always introduce myself as a "general gardener" since my interest in plants and gardens is so diverse, I grow alpine plants and desert plants, native plants and exotics, plants that need the shade in the under-story of trees and plants that need blazing sun. I also have very different ways of growing plants, some I try to grow in the most natural of habitats and others I grow in containers with a definite artifice trying to match the plant to the container.
But for all this, when reflecting on what seems an unfocused mix, I can see some connections between these disperse collection. This little group of succulents perhaps will illustrate how my various interests come together, they are three different plant families, but are all considered caudiciforms, that is, they all have swollen trunks (and maybe roots) that enable them to store water in extreme dry conditions. They are great subjects for growing in containers and (to my taste) have great and presence and an almost bonsai like character in a well chosen pot. So in this small group of plants I cover several of my interests,those being succulents, vines, euphorbias and my attempts to achieve that Japanese aesthetic of matching plant to pot.

Adenia glauca
Adenia, I was surprised to find, are in the family Passifloraceae.

My plant is still immature, but already has a spectacular caudex .

Cyphostemma sp.(elephantopus ?)
Cyphostemma are in the family Vitaceae

Jatropa multifida
Jatropa are in the family Euphorbiaceae


Edith Hope said...

Dear Barry, I know very little about these plants but I find the idea of matching plant to pot fascinating. I like to paint terracotta pots with plain colours or stripes [if I am feeling particularly creative] but only for their decorative qualities. I shall now consider plant personality too!!

Barry Parker said...

Dear Edith,
To be honest, I'm an obsessive collector of pots also. Many sit around empty for years waiting for the right plant.
I went to a talk by Helen Dillon recently and she says that she doesn't like terra-cotta any more, prefering to plant in dust bins!
I think she's trying too hard to be leading edge. The success of her water course has gone to her head.

delcasmx said...

This is very interesting, seeing how after time you found the connection in your tastes.
I can see the Japanese aesthetic, you accomplish it very well.

Barry Parker said...

Hello Delcasmx,
Thanks for the comments. Coming from Japan.this is indeed a compliment,