Today’s photos come from Michael Passarello’s garden in North Stamford, Connecticut.
I am a gardener that has one of the most unusual gardens in Connecticut. I began it almost 20 years ago and planned it to be low water, easy to maintain, wildlife friendly, and, most importantly, unusual. I have palms, cacti, and uncommon plants that I have blended into a natural looking setting. No edged beds or pots of posies. It is a green, lush jungle. I have an extensive greenhouse collection of bromeliads, orchids, plumerias, and other tropical plants that I vacation outdoors in the summer.
I have never before shown the garden, and I think it is something different. I garden with no pesticides and incorporate natives.
Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides, Zones 8–12) is not actually a moss but rather a tiny bromeliad, in the same genus as air plants! Not commonly seen in New England, it can easily be grown as an annual or overwintered indoors in a sunny window and misted regularly.
Tender succulents, including a large flapjack plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora, Zones 10–12) bring a tropical flair to the garden. Growing them in containers set down in the soil makes it easy to bring them indoors for the winter. Check out these 10 outstanding succulents.
A view of the lush, jungly garden mixing native plants and tender tropicals in containers for a unique and exciting look.
Lush foliage is key to creating a junglelike atmosphere in the garden. Here bamboos, palms, and tropical-looking greenery make a magic scene that is a world away from what you would expect to see in a New England garden. Learn how to split bamboo here.
The leatherleaf mahonia (Mahonia bealei, Zones 7–9) has large, dramatic evergreen leaves. It has masses of yellow flowers in the spring, which are followed by these very ornamental blue berries. This species can be invasive in the warm climates of the southeastern United States, but it has not become a problem in the North.
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