In my garden

I was given two hoya plants a couple of years ago – the first was to see if I could grow it and, once I proved I could, I received the second which is a family heirloom.

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Sylvia Walker’s Hoya carnosa. Photo: Sandra Simpson

It belonged to Sylvia Walker, a first cousin to my grandfather. Sylvia was the librarian in Bulls for many years, dying in 1960. My grandfather, who died in May 1961, is buried next to her in Bulls cemetery. Sylvia hadn’t married and her hoya was given to her niece, Judith, who as a child had stayed for holidays with her aunt. And now Judith has given it to me. We have no idea how old the plant really is but hoya can live to be a great age.

We repotted Sylvia’s hoya this year and, although it has taken two seasons, it is coming into flower. A piece broke off during the repotting process so we potted that up too and it is putting on new growth. The first one I was given flowered beautifully for months last year and is now in flower again, albeit a bit later.

To see some beautiful photos of the many different types of hoya flower, go here.

My 16-year-old son was given a sundew carnivorous plant before Christmas with the advice to put it in full sun in a container of rainwater – it must never dry out. So far, he’s been tending it carefully and the plant is doing well. We tried it out on an annoying patch of whitefly and it caught some for us.

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My son’s sundew. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Considering it is such a showy plant, it has odd flowers – pink and rather “normal” looking. I much prefer its red “tentacles”.

When I took down a hanging basket to check the orchid in it, I was surprised to see something bright green in among the Spanish moss curled up in the basket. A closer look revealed some tiny flowers.

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Tiny flowers hiding in the Spanish moss. Photo: Sandra Simpson


This is about my third go at growing the airplant (it’s a tillandsia) – previous plants have been snatched by birds for nest making hence it being tucked into the basket instead of hung from it.

Read all about Spanish moss and its commercial uses in Louisiana here.

PS: My heliotrope is still going great guns, I posted a picture of its flowers on November 18. Not bad, eh?


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