- “The leaves of brown came tumbling down,
- Remember, in September….”
For many countries, September does indeed herald the fall with all the colours associated with falling leaves. But in Bermuda, though some trees like the poinciana and the frangipani do start to lose their leaves in the autumn, mid to late September marks the start of the planting season.
- Match-me-if-you-can (acalypha wilkesiana)
- This evergreen shrub, often used as hedging in Bermuda, may not have falling leaves but certain varieties can evoke autumnal shades and look great in a large floral arrangement. Also known locally as Jacob’s Coat, in other countries it can be called copperleaf or copper plant because of its variegated colour combinations of yellow, orange, copper, crimson, and pink. It can also come in green and white. It’s native to Fiji and neighboring South Pacific islands, wilkesiana referencing American explorer and naval captain Charles Wilkes. Its genus name derives from the Greek name for nettles because of the appearance of its leaves. It arrived in Bermuda from Barbados in 1874.
Try mixing its copper varieties with pink and orange shades of bougainvillea for a rich, lustrous effect.
- Chenille Plant (acalypha hispida)
- The chenille plant is in the same family as match-me-if-you-can. Their leaves are similar in shape. But this plant’s long flowers, like soft, crimson catkins, are an immediate distraction from the leaves. The word ‘chenille’ is apposite since it’s the name of a soft yarn and the French word for ‘caterpillar.” Chenille stems make a striking addition to a bouquet or floral arrangement.
- What would Christmas be without carrots? Unthinkable.
- Plant seeds in in a location with full sun, ¼ inch below loose, well-drained soil, about three inches apart. Water regularly. Once they grow, thin seedlings if they are less than three inches apart.
- These peppery veggies are good companions for carrots as they sprout first and help keep the soil loosened.
- Grow scarlet or crimson impatiens for a Christmas display. In a shady location, plant seedlings in the ground 12 to 18 inches apart in moist, well-drained soil. They are also ideal for pots or hanging baskets. Water regularly. Fertilise plants in containers every three weeks.