Sunday, June 22, 2008

Colourful heliconia bracts

Being a Sunday morning I thought of taking it easy. I had an early morning walk to the back of my chalet that faces the jungle. While walking up the steps of the heliconia collection area I noticed the heliconia clumps seemed to greet me in full colours and rich splendour. Why not clean up the footsteps and let the sun shine reflect further the beauty of the heliconia bracts? Or so I thought.

In a moment's notice I rushed to get my gardening tools and with a zeal and enthusiasm I have not felt for quite sometime, I began scrapping the overgrown footpath from the bottom step and quickly moved up, step by step. By the time I finished the morning hours, it was time for lunch. Along the side of the steps are a collection of six varieties of heliconia, which I will describe shortly.

Heliconias make splendid cut flowers, not because of its flowers which are very insignificant and almost enclosed by the bracts but it colourful bracts. Herein lies its appeal. The bracts can be golden yellow, pink, orange, lipstick red or combinations of the these various colours and more.

My favourites? It's difficult to say because In my collection presently are twelve species. And there are hundreds more! Pressed further, I would say heliconia 'sassy pink'. I love its long pendulous string of pink bracts some one meter long or more. Then there is the dark red and the 'dare you try me' look of the heliconia stricta. I have two varieties of the golden yellow coloured heliconia as in the heliconia psittacorum species ( lobster claw or parrot flower) . Another striking variety I noticed this morning was the heliconia latispatha which have tiny bracts of yellow and red colours. At one corner I found the bright and attractive heliconia rostrata ( fire crackers).

Most heliconia bracts last long, some more than a week in a container filled with water. There are easy to grow. Requires shade and respond well to fertilising. Needs lots of water though.

My arrangements for today:

Arrangement #8

I had an empty round glass fish bowl in the store which I took out from its hiding place and made it to hold three short stalks of heliconia'sassy pink' as above.

Arrangement # 9

In the above arrangement I added the redness of heliconia stricta to the composition. In closer view, each inflorescence of the heliconia stricta has lip stick red bracts edged with green.

Below is the scene of my morning workout. At this one spot is a collection of six varieties of heliconia .

No comments: