In August, typically our garden flowers can look parched, particularly in a drought. This year, however, rainfall in June and July was unusually plentiful, making the island look especially lush. Why not pick yellow, gold and flame to celebrate the summer? Yellow bells (tecoma stans) are particularly summery thanks to their numerous clusters of five-petalled, bright yellow flowers, shaped like trumpets. The plant is also known as yellow elder, esperanza, or yellow trumpetbush.
Bermuda would not be Bermuda without the large, vibrant, yellow flowers of seaside goldenrod (solidago sempervirens) growing everywhere in Bermuda but especially on our shorelines since these plants are highly salt tolerant. Crossandra (crossandra infundibuliformis) also adds dramatic colour to arrangements. Native to Sri Lanka and southern India, its common names are tropic flame and firecracker flower, thanks to its orange, five-petalled, tubular flowers. Try mixing it with shrimp plant.
Broccoli (brassica oleracea)
An excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K, broccoli prepared raw makes an excellent salad. Usually, the parts of the vegetable most usually eaten are the buds of the broccoli flower that make up a flowering head. Actually, “broccoli” is the plural form of the Italian word “broccolo”, meaning “the flowering crest of a cabbage”.
Choose a sunny planting position with some partial afternoon shade. Good plant companions for promoting growth include rosemary, mint, and thyme, NB broccoli does not like growing near tomatoes. Plant seeds in rich loamy soil ½ inch deep and a few inches apart. Seeds take between 5 to 10 days to germinate. Thin seedlings to 12-20 inches apart. Water to keep the soil moist rather than soggy and to prevent rot, water from the base of the plant. Fertilise with organic, low-nitrogen fertiliser a few weeks after the seedlings emerge.
Broccoli takes anywhere between 7 to ten weeks to mature, depending on the variety. Harvest when the crown head is at least six inches across and green buds appear. NB Once buds open into yellow flowers, the vegetable becomes bitter.
If you need a dash of last minute colour on your patio or in your border in August, zinnias are ideal since they’re not fussy about good soil, don’t need a lot of water and they thrive in full sun. Larger varieties need 12 to 18 inches between seedlings, smaller ones at least six to prevent disease.