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The Tropical Garden

The original garden plan for Ashland Hall had a Phase 1 and a Phase 2.  For a while I thought Phase 2 (the area behind the formal gardens) would be a woodland garden. But when visiting Tony Avent's Juniper Level Gardens just a few miles down the road I was impressed with his tropical collection that seemed to thrive in our climate.  I didn't realize that so many tropical plants could be overwintered here in Raleigh.  And since that area of our property gets plenty of water and sunshine, I thought that was a perfect solution.

So in the fall of 2007 I laid out the beds for the tropical garden. In the Spring of 2008 I planted numerous bananas (musa), gingers (hedychium), hibiscus, colocasia, alocasia, cannas and a few other "tropical" plants that are reported to be hardy in our 7B zone.  Additionally I tossed in some papaya seeds that I dried from a fruit we bought at the local market. It won't survive the winter but it will be fun if I can get it to fruit in one season since they are fast growing.  My dad has been successful in doing so down in Louisiana.

If the plants do well I plan on doubling the size of the tropical garden in the next year or two (addition beds were added to the following year along with a Tiki Hut).

And the tropical garden does make a fantastic site for a luau/tropical party!