As the summer continues, Bermuda is vibrant with garden flowers and colourful flowering vines tumbling over walls and climbing trellises and walls. Bougainvillea, clematis, jasmine, giant potato vine and coralita are just a few vines that can be found growing on or near patios and in walled gardens, providing natural decorative settings for outdoor parties.
- Allamanda or Golden Trumpet allamanda cathartica
- For indoor party decorations, there’s nothing to beat these intensely yellow flowers, also known as golden bell. They can add flow to cut flower arrangements in vases but two or three longer trailing stems placed on their own in small, inconspicuous containers and draped around pictures create a festive atmosphere for indoor gatherings. NB Wear gloves when cutting. The sap can cause dermatitis.
- Mandevilla or Rock Trumpet mandevilla laxa
- These flowering vines can also be added to flower arrangements or used as decorative garlands. The white flowers of this variety create a luminous effect at night. NB Wear gloves when cutting. The sap can cause dermatitis.
- If you don’t have them growing in your garden, you can usually find bunches of cut sunflowers at local farm shops or at farmers’ stands. For a Van Gogh experience, place several stems on their own in a ceramic vase and agree with him: sunflowers symbolise happiness and gratitude.
- Essential for summer salads, tomatoes are also a great addition to a salsa garden. In addition, monarch butterflies are attracted to their fragrant leaves. Plant each seedling in at least two square feet of your garden or in one five-gallon container with good drainage.
Make sure you water your plants regularly, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. Feed plants in containers with a tomato specific fertiliser every two weeks.
- Madagascar Periwinkle or Vinca catharanthus roseus
- If you find it too difficult to keep impatiens going during the summer heat, periwinkles are a great substitute as they thrive in sun and tolerate drought. Their flowers, available in pinks, mauves, reds and whites, are attractive to butterflies. NB They are toxic to people, dogs and cats.
- Milkweed asclepias curassavica
- If you love monarch butterflies (Who cannot?), milkweed is a must in any Bermuda garden. The problem is having enough as monarch butterfly caterpillars strip the plant of flowers and leaves in no time. The good news is once it’s established in a garden or in a plant pot, milkweed continually regrows. Its seed can easily be harvested to grow additional plants. Its toxicity to most animals other than these caterpillars is what gives monarch butterflies protection.