Guides: Mediterranean Garden
Palms and cycads make striking container plants for decks, patios, porches and around pools, adding an exotic and tropical touch to our outdoor living areas. While most palm trees thrive in the landscape, there are also quite a few species that are suitable to container gardening.
To most people, Palm trees evoke images of the tropics with their charming silhouettes and graceful fronds that sway gently in the breeze. However, many of the 2,500 species tolerate cooler climates and can withstand brief periods of colder temperatures and even occasional snowfall.
One of the most flamboyant flowering shrubs, Tropical Hibiscus add color and excitement to landscapes, patios and decks. Cultivated for centuries, Tropical Hibiscus flourish in sub-tropical climates and adapt well to container-growing in cooler areas.
Native to Mexico and Central America, Echeverias are regarded by many as one of the most beautiful succulents. Evergreen, they form attractive rosettes of fleshy leaves and often resemble plum-petaled roses, waterlilies or ruffled lettuce. There are dozens of species, and hundreds of cultivars offering a wide array of colors, sizes or leaf shapes.
Ceanothus, commonly known as California Lilac, offers almost everything a gardener could wish for in a shrub: free-flowering, lovely foliage, ease of cultivation, drought and salt tolerance. Fast growing, these desirable shrubs draw attention with their stunning blue, white or pink flowers. When a California Lilac bursts into bloom, it is a breathtaking sight to behold.
Adored by florists and gardeners, Ranunculus asiaticus (Persian Buttercups) is a tuberous perennial boasting brilliantly colored flowers adorned with multiple layers of delicate, crepe paper-thin petals. Native to Asia Minor, they produce masses of very long-lasting, single, double or frilled blossoms in a rainbow of gorgeous colors.
Prized for their tropical look and impressive, trumpet-shaped blossoms, Brugmansias (Angel's Trumpets) are evergreen shrubs or small trees of great beauty. Fragrant, these South American natives release their powerful scent most readily in the evenings. Long-lived, incredibly decorative, they are fairly easy to grow and add high drama in the garden or in containers.
Native to the southern United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and northern South America, Agaves are evergreen succulents with handsome rosettes of usually thick, rigid, fleshy leaves with marginal teeth and often a sharp terminal spine. They exist in a wide range of sizes, colors and offer an amazing array of leaf shapes.
Mostly native to the Canary Islands off the west coast of North Africa, Aeoniums are fascinating evergreen succulents with irresistible rosettes of fleshy, pinwheel leaves. Attractive when not blooming, they are particularly striking with their bright racemes of small, star-shaped flowers.
Native to sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, and Arabia, Aloes are evergreen succulents with usually spiny leaves arranged in neat rosettes, and spectacular, candle-like inflorescences bearing clusters of brilliant yellow, orange or red, tubular flowers. They exist in a wide range of sizes, colors and offer an amazing array of leaf shapes.
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