March 03, 2011

Time for spring break!

Join me, won't you, on a spring break vacation away from the cold, damp March drizzle? Where shall we travel?




In Mexico, we might see...

Tradescantia pallida and Rhoeo spathacea 


Bougainvillea glabra

March in Italy is incredible...

Antirrhinum majus


Wisteria sinensis

On Maui, Hawaii, we're bound to see...

Phaeomeria magnifica

Eucalyptus deglupta

Heliconia rostrata

These are simply three ideas for pleasant early spring destinations. Any other suggestions?

Note: Thanks to The Phytophactor for helping me identify the Bignoniaceae and the Phaeomeria magnifica (Torch Ginger), and thanks to Autumn Belle at My Nice Garden for confirming the Torch Ginger.

(Disclaimer: These are all photos I took on various trips. This blog is dedicated to plants that grow well in my USDA zone 5 shade garden. But sometimes you just need to get away!)


  1. Dear Beth, I have very much enjoyed this virtual break, although as I write sun is pouring into my garden room in London. Not reliably enough, however, to plan a visit as snow is still being forecast!

  2. Southern California is nice (and easier to get to than those other places) when you live in the Midwest. Beach-wise not spectacular, but there are some great flowering plants there for sure.

  3. Italy or Hawaii...hmmm...maybe both if I can see something other than white snow and feel some warm breezes...

  4. Unknowns are one of my specialities, but not sure I can give you much help. The orange flower & surrounding leaves look like Bignoniaceae, but not one I'm familiar with, and I'm familiar with a lot of them.
    The red unknown might be a torch ginger (unfolding bracts, maybe Alpinia), but can't see enough of the rest to be certain. Hope that helps.

  5. @Edith: London is definitely on my list. Picturing a sunny scene in London ... glad you had a pleasant day. I hope your snow is light and melts fast.

    @Alan: Southern California is another favorite. I had a couple business trips there and I have relatives in the L.A./So. Pasadena area. I just don't have any recent plant photos. But that's definitely a great destination!

    @Donna: I'm excited to drive south to Illinois for the weekend! Anywhere even the slightest bit south is refreshing right now.

    @Phytophactor: Thanks for the potential IDs on the plants. I thought about Torch Ginger on the red plant/flower. I'll have to do more research. (I cheated a bit with the Hawaii plants, since we visited in January when some of the plants were just starting to bloom/emerge.)

  6. You are always welcome to exotic, sunny forever Malaysia! Your picture of the torch ginger looks exactly like the torch ginger in my garden, but mine is a paler shade of pink. Mine is Etlingera elatior. Your picture is still the bud stage which can be eaten raw if it really is the Etlingera elatior. It is used as a garnishing in Malaysian and Indonesian cooking.

    The flower images in the opened bloom was posted in my Feb 2011 GBBD.

  7. Any or all 3 would be welcome destinations by me! If I could, I'd choose one of them while blindfolded...I would like a get-away right about now! Gorgeous photos of some beauties!

  8. How nice to see your photos of warm, beautiful places. And you have warm memories, too! I have enjoyed traveling with you, virtually.

  9. @Autumn Belle: Thank you, too, for confirming the Torch Ginger ID. I didn't realize it was edible. What a fantastic plant! Malaysia would be an incredible destination!

    @Jan: I totally agree! Although I noticed I now have Daffodils poking up about 2 inches. So, even here in the "north country" spring is fast approaching!

    @Holley: The virtual trip south will have to do it for me this year. Darn! But soon my backyard will be a fantastic place to be. :)

  10. Nice way to escape the end of Winter! If I could get away I think it would be to Cape Town. I love the botanic gardens there, and Table Mountain is my favourite city backdrop.

  11. That's it!! I'm packing my bags!! Oy, I need a vacation, even if it's just a virtual one! Germany is also beautiful in the spring and the Greek isles are amazing in summer. I may have to settle for a foriegn film and a plate of Indian food!

  12. Janet and TS: Excellent recommendations for destinations! I haven't visited any of them yet. I'm hoping to make it to Germany/Switzerland/Austria for a planned trip in a couple of years. But, yes, a foreign film and Indian food sounds great to me, too!

  13. I must say: come to Italy! Flowers, and a lot more...
    If you need any help about Italy, please feel free to contact me, of course!

  14. Hi Dona: I hope to get back to Italy one of these days. And I will be sure to get your advice. Thank you!