Tom Carwin, Gardener | Plant shades

Take care of your garden

As you grow your garden beds, you will be able to achieve your vision by providing an organized plan for plant selection and satisfaction that can be used as a basis for gardening.

Completing the theme garden bed does not mean that you have gathered the whole universe of plants that follow your theme unless it is very, very narrow. The final product will be a collection of plants related to the theme, and a bed with a clear identity.

If your theme is based on a particular species, for example, roses, iris, dahlias, or other species of interest, you will find many candidates from that species or hybrid. “Plenty” may seem “endless” because some species contain a large number of species, and breeders are developing more hybrid forms in search of stronger, richer or disease-resistant, larger, stronger flowers. Colorful, well-constructed, etc.

Some new entrances are attractive to gardeners simply because they differ from previous ones.

Themes can be based on flower color, floral color, country of origin, maturity, or other characteristics.

One of my current gardening projects follows the theme of shade plants. This project was started because part of my yard is in the shade of two Chitalpa ‘Pink Dawn’ trees, the desert willow (Chilopsy line) and the northern C speciosa. These are open-topped trees, so they are usually shaded throughout the year, and fully exposed during the winter months.

I started collecting plants from the Bromeli family, including Matchstick Bromeliad (Aechmea gamosepala), Queen’s tears (Bilbergia nutans), and vegetable exchange specimens (probably Neoregelia). I soon learned that this large family, with 75 generations and 3,590 known species, had abandoned the Bromeliad theme by supporting shade plants.

I added three small ions, and other plants for coloring: Begonia ‘aluminum apricot (B x tuberhybrida pendula), Begonia’ B ‘Grandeis, and C scutellarioides.

Then, during a regular visit to the garden center, I came across an amazing plant to add shade. He is a member of the unique family of Bromelia Hohenbergia. This sample is the choice of H. correia-araujoi under the garden name “Chocolate Tiger”.

A growing collection of plants in the shade. (Tom Carwin – Contributed)

After doing some research on the Internet, I discovered that this species was “founded” in 1830 and that it was named after the German botanist Hohenberg. A native of Jamaica, Brazil, and Venezuela, this species includes 52 species.

Although some specialized retailers have puppies or seeds, this plant can be difficult to find. This is the first and only time I have seen Hohenberg in a gardening center. She grew up in Monterrey Bay kindergarten. Bully Bromeliads in Florida is an Internet search that currently has only one supplier in plants.

So, I am happy to have found an attractive and unusual plant for my shade collection. While writing this column, I showed this plant to a young woman working in my garden. She said she recently visited Brazil with a friend and saw many Hohenberg on the beaches. She said she was more attractive than the others in my sample, so that was a welcome comment. I always prefer “rare” rather than “ordinary.”

Despite the factual links between plants, my shadow begins to appear dangerous. They are still in containers and are easy to rearrange for a more planned look. That is another project for another day.

Increase your knowledge of gardening

If you are interested in the great Bromelia family, Bromeliad Society International has an extensive website ( This site contains the bulletin archives of the Bromeliad Association for free access from 1951-1986, and the latest issues are available to members only. It also includes an extensive list of Bromelia species, including 34 Hohenbergia species (but not surprisingly ‘chocolate tiger’). For Bromelia lovers, there is much more to this site.

Cactus and Success American Association will host a webcast featuring Ernesto Sandoval on September 10 at 10 p.m. Ernesto Sandoval is the director of the Department of Plant Research at the University of California and is a well-known speaker on various cactus and successful topics. In recent years (Cowidy-19), the Cactus and Success Association in the Monterrey Bay area has been involved in seed distribution, crop development, and strong alloys in California. His discourses are based on his work with a series of lively, fun and powerful plants. We’ll have information on this webnar presentation next week, but mark your calendar now.

On October 11, 11, 11, the Conservancy will present a virtual talk on “Landscaping – OJB Dynamic Environment.” The speaker was James Burnett, the founder of OJB Landscape Architecture firm (OJB, James Burnett Bureau). This talk explores four design projects, including the Sonland Center and Garden in Southern California. This presentation costs $ 5 for gardening service members and a total entrance fee of $ 15. There is also a discount for the new book “Assessing Landscapes”. For more information and to subscribe to this talk, visit and click on News / Upcoming Events.

Enrich your gardening days

Consider developing a theme bed in your garden. Such a project can drain your creative juices, and provide a satisfying experience and new property to your landscape.

Tom Carwin is president of the Friends Club of UCC Santa Cruz Arborum, the Monterey Bay Area Cactus and Success Association, and the Monterey Bay Irises Association and Lifetime UC Gardener (certified 1999-2009). He is currently a board member and gardener for the Santa Cruz Hostel Association. To see daily vocabulary photos from the garden Visit to search the archives for previous gardening columns.

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