Now that summer is almost over and the tremendous heat and frequent downpours should be coming to an end in about a month, it’s time to once again start thinking about some serious gardening. The first step is to take back control of your existing garden, which has had pretty much free rein, growing leaps and bounds all summer. The days of looking at our gardens through the windows of our air-conditioned homes are just about over. We’re all anxiously waiting for cooler days so we can begin the assault.
After we’ve brought our gardens back to what they looked like lastwinter, it’s time for some new ideas. Have you considered an herb garden? Or a butterfly garden? Or maybe a White garden, where all the plants have white flowers and plants have variegated leaves? At dawn and dusk, a White garden has such a brilliant glow; the flowers appear to be solar-powered or run by electricity.
How about planting a chocolate garden?!?!? This themed garden will conjure up lots of imagination and creativity, and might even make you crave a Hershey bar if it’s done right. Always keep a few Hershey’s Kisses in your pocket when you’re showing off your chocolate garden to yourfriends. They just might come in handy. A chocolate garden features plants with chocolate in their name, chocolate colored foliage and plants with flowers that actually smell like it, too. The flowers and foliage in this garden will feature dark and light shades of brown (light and dark chocolate), deep burgundies, purples and reds. Use your own judgment as to whether a plant will fit into your chocolate garden. After all, you’re the one who makes the final choice and has to live with it. As far as I know, it will be the first chocolate garden on the block. An all white garden looks spectacular next to a chocolate garden! Maybe your next project?
What about a Chocolate tree (Theobroma cacao)? They will definitely grow here in Florida. I’ve provided a list below of several plants to get you started, but hunting and searching for new plants to fit into your theme garden is part of the fun. As always, garden art such as bird baths, sculptures, benches, and whatever your imagination comes up with, are always a welcome addition to your garden. And don’t forget, gardening is FUN.
Perfect plants for your chocolate garden:
Orchid oncidium (Sharry Baby): This one really smells like chocolate!
Orchid Encyclia phoenicea(Cuban Orchid): This too smells like chocolate.
Herb: Chocolate mint
Dark Knight (Colocasia esculenta)
Dark leaf Taro (Zingiber malaysianum)
Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum sefaceum)
Chocolate Comos (Cosmos atrosanguineus): Deep red flower with an aroma of chocolate.
Cana Australia (Austrailia cana): Dark red-brownish foliage.
Sweet potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas): Burgundy to brown in color but needs to be keep in check.
Red Sensation (Cordyline austrailis): Dark red to brown in color.
Hoya (Hoya shepherdii): Has a fragrance of chocolate that is stronger at night.
Bat Flower (Van bourgondien): Very unusual brown to deep purple flower; sometimes black.
Tree Daisy (Montanoa grandiflora): Bush with white daisy like flowers that have a chocolate fragrance.