Yellow Highlights

This will be the second time I have had to apologize for a long silence. Just like the first time, when I took almost a year off working on planting my then recently acquired home garden, this current pause is also due to major gardening activites, this time a huge landscape project I had the opportunity to work on which I will describe later.

But first let me get back in the saddle talking about my own garden which when left too long undocumented goes through so many changes that its hard to know where to start. Here on the Dark Verandah, a significant event was the collapsing of the bamboo fence. After a huge storm, I woke up to the entire fence blown over. Closer inspection revealed much of the base had been compromised by a combination of rot and termite damage.

There was no fixing this, but I also realized that the border the fence wrapped around had become quite mature and substantially tall enough to screen the verandah area from street view. There were gaps which triggered some moving around of some Rhapis palms and the addition of some bamboo and things went back to an equilibrium of screening function and lush aesthetics.

What has remained sticks to the original idea of this being largely a non floral foliage border - here's the inspirational seed sown years ago when I visited the Green Border at Wave Hill. Then a visit to a garden show in Singapore suggested a tropical version of my favorite combination of green and chocolate. And thats where we are still today - a mainly foliage border which runs the gamut from chocolate to greens.

Somewhere in that mix is an increasing note of yellow highlights. The primary reason for that is random purchases of variegated yellow foliage plants have matured, increased their visual presence and I've liked the effect enough to keep adding more. The fondness for them derives I think by its imitation of 'dappled' light.

A few different varieties of yellow variegated crotons or more correctly named Codiaeum variegatum occasionally show up at the farmers market making available quite different forms from large shrubs to small plants with lacy foliage.

The variegated Fragrea Ceilanica in the foreground of the RHS image has been hovering in a small pot until I properly identified it. Unusually, I had its name from the nursery but I was concerned it might be a large tree so hesitated about planting it into the border. Now that I've seen it used in landscaping mainly appearing as a large shrub, it is now in a large pot, its curving branches and bright variegated colouring in a featured postion.

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