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or search for Latin names and more below
 
 

 

Galapagos Prickly Pear Opuntia galapageia
Benefits:
From:
Ecuador's Galapagos Islands
Photographed: In the Palermo Botanical Garden in Sicily, Italy.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2012
 
Galingale See The "P" Page -- PALMS, Umbrella Palm
 
 
 
GARDENING IN THE TROPICS

Surprisingly, a tropical climate is the most difficult environment in which I have ever had a garden. And, I have been gardening since I was a youngster growing up in Rhode Island, a tiny coastal state in New England, the most northeastern part of the United States. As an adult I have had beautiful and very productive gardens in Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., and in Taxco, Mexico.

Gardening on the Caribbean island of Montserrat has proved my greatest challenge. Instead of being the garden of Eden I envisaged when we bought our property, it challenged everything I know. It seems that every avid gardener arriving to live in Montserrat does so with the same enthusiasm and unbridled hope as I did; here it is sunny and warm year round and there are many months of rain -- what a garden I will have!

 

When we bought our property in Montserrat in the West Indies several years ago, I fell in love with the overgrown garden, the views and the national park that lies behind the property. The house was comfortable and the pool was lovely, but the garden was not exactly as it appeared. In the garden, the first two inches or so of the soil was pure volcanic ash, a fine grained powdery cement-like material. Below that, we found about two inches of rock hard barren generic dirt and rocks and below that we found even harder clay. None of our familiar garden tools were up to the job of dealing with the ground so we turned to the local favorite, a mattock. The mattock redefines what you may think of as a "pick." I can barely lift it and by the time I've carried it to the garden I am exhausted and there the tool lies till tomorrow.

With my over-riding gardening optimism and my husband's desire to make me happy, we dug out a fifteen by fifteen foot garden the first year and I began to enhance the soil -- making good dirt is one of my passions. We were there hard at work for several years and often when local farmers come by delivering produce that we don't grow, we would hear comments like, "Look at that fat soil." Fat soil is prized in Montserrat as the best place to grow vegetables.

CARIBBEAN OR TROPICAL GARDENING HINTS

Gardening by the Moon

Listening to local farmers and asking many questions we have learned that planting by the moon is a Montserratian traditional practice.

New moon to the Full moon
Sow seeds and transplant seedlings

Full moon to the New moon
Cultivate the soil, weed and harvest

New Moon to the First Quarter
Plant above ground plants including flowering annuals

First Quarter to the Full Moon
Sow the seeds of above ground plants

Full Moon to the Last Quarter
Plant root crops, bulbs, perennials and biennials

Last Quarter
Turn over the soil, but do not plant

Soil pH

The sweetness (alkalinity) or acidity of your soil will affect the health and productivity of your garden plants. A pH on the sweet side is normally considered beneficial for most vegetables. Gardeners routinely apply agricultural lime to sweeten the soil before planting. In Montserrat there was no lime available so farmers used wood ashes or nothing at all. This had a decided impact on the quality and quantity of vegetables that were produced there. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14 with 7 being just about neutral. Numbers above 7 are alkaline and below 7 are acid. If you are in a similar situation with no access to lime, use the ashes from firewood. Spread them as thickly as you can on the garden area and mix them into the soil. Then water it well and do so for three days or so before planting.

Summer vs Winter Planting in the Tropics

One of the most important things I have learned (finally) is that the most successful vegetable gardens are planted to be harvested in the winter. In the Caribbean, summer is a time for letting the garden rest -- with very few exceptions. Mung beans and yellow/orange sweet potatoes do well, as does okra (ick). I'd love to hear if you have had real success planting other crops in the hot summer, tips I can pass along to other gardeners like us.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2008/2010/2013

 
 
 

Gardenia Gardenia augusta
This the most wonderful flowering bush I've ever met. It has deep green 2 to 3" shiny leaves and bright creamy white flowers that smell like heaven. I've had them as house plants in Boston, Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., and outside in gardens in Oaxaca and Taxco, Mexico. This year I even had one planted at our hotel in Guatemala.
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: This variety prefers a neutral to acid soil and light shade when planted outside. As houseplants they'll do well in a sunny window with regular misting. They do not like dry air.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO2008/2010

See also Crape Jasmine on the "C" Page for what is called a gardenia in Montserrat.

 

**Garlic Herb Allium sativum L.
Garlic has been widely touted for years as THE food that will cure whatever ails you so it has gained wide popularity especially in the United States. Many people in the United States also just like its flavor so a lot of people are eating it in impressive quantities. My advice to all of them is to remember that the aroma of garlic in food is not so aromatic in sweat. If you will be flying on a commercial flight, do remember to cut down on the garlic intake a few days before your flight.
Benefits:
      An anti-oxidant, garlic is also rich in sulfur compounds, it is a stimulant to the immune system, it lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as reduces the blood's tendency to clot. It is also a natural antibiotic and it contains selenium, an essential amino acid. If you believe all of this, I've got a bridge I to sell you.
      Many years ago I read that garlic would rid dogs of intestinal parasites which sounded great. I asked my the low tech veterinarian that took care of my two Irish Setters what he thought. His response was very simple. If you can get them to eat a bushel of garlic each in one day, it may work. Enough said for that "cure."

Planting and Growth:
       Buy a nice looking head of garlic and let it age naturally on the shelf outside of the sun until it begins to sprout. Break apart the head into its cloves and fill an 8" wide 6" deep pot with good soil. Push the individual cloves into the soil until only the head remains visible. Water and place in the sun. With regular sun and water you’ll not only have lovely plants, you’ll have leaves that you can add to salads and eventually new heads of garlic. This method worked fine when I was planting in pots, but when I turned to planting in the garden I had very disappointing results.
       This is an alternate planting method I found. Take a fresh head of garlic and break it apart into cloves. Soak them for two hours in water with a heaping tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda which is said to neutralize fungus. Drain the water and remove the skins. Next soak the cloves in alcohol a few minutes and plant them immediately about 3" deep in soil.
Text Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

 
  Garlic Chives Allium tuberosum
  Benefits:
From:

Photographed: In the Thuya Garden, Mt. Desert Island, Maine, 2013.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 

Gaura Gaura lindheimeri
Lovely gaura will grow to be from 2 to 4 feet tall depending on the variety you plant. It has long leggy stems which may be even more attractive given some attractive support. For some ideas click here. Expect a good flowering from August through September.
Benefits:
From:
Middle south of the US
Photographed:
At the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center in Rhode Island in 2013.
Planting and Care: Gaura likes full sun and a good quality well drained soil
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2015

This plant was one of my many mysteries and it was graciously solved by these two folks at the same time, with my great appreciation,

http://www.kwiaht.org/kwiaht.htm "Kwiáht is a nonprofit conservation biology laboratory in and for the San Juan Islands of Washington State."

C. Howell Ellerman from Camino, California

 

**Gazania Gazania rigens "Christopher Lloyd"
This is a low growing perennial bearing its colorful flowers almost continuously in a warm climate and spring through into fall in a cooler one. They make great border plantings since they are less than a foot high.
Photographed: In the garden of our apartment in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2010.
Planting and care: These plants like to grow in well drained soil in full sun in a warm climate if possible though they will survive a touch of 32° F for a short period.

Flower Mystery solved by Ursula G. living in Southern Germany

 
Geiger Tree See The "C" Page -- Cordia Tree
 
 

GERANIUMS

 Geranium Pelargonium sp.
A geranium always seemed the preferred plant of people who had no interest in plants or in gardening. The geranium performed the function of having a colorful and green bush at the front door during summer. In the fall, a planter of chrysanthemums fulfilled the same function. In the northeastern United States, the chrysanthemums were followed by a big pumpkin.
Having lived in Mexico and recently traveled in Greece, I gained a new respect for geraniums. I had some growing nicely a couple of years ago until we began having routine acid rain and then ashing and acid rain from the Soufriere volcano here in Montserrat. Plants with shiny tough leaves handle ash and acid rain rather well; plants with hairy leaves like geraniums and tomatoes suffer greatly or die right away when exposed.
Planting and Care: These can be strong and tough plants to grow where not much else will thrive. They have lovely blossoms and and velvety medium green leaves. Give geraniums lots of sun and don't let them get too dry and you'll be thrilled with their appearance and their ease of care.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2007
 

Geranium 'Rozanne Cranebill'
Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.

Geranium 'Rozanne Cranebill'
Photographed: In the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Maine, 2013.

 

Geranium 'Rozanne Cranebill'
Photographed: At the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center in Rhode Island in 2013.

 

French Geranium, Geranium 'Angels Perfume' Angel pelargonium
Benefits:
From:
Originally its family was from South Africa
Photographed: In a private garden in Sicily, Italy, in 2012.
Planting and Care: Find a spot in the garden that receives bright morning sunlight and that's where your French geranium will be at home. Make sure it receives regular watering or rainfall to ensure its bright blossoms. Try not to wet the leaves if you are watering as you risk leaf rot.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2015

With my appreciation this plant mystery was solved by Jac from North Norfolk, England

 

Hanging Geranium Mystery #1 Pelargonium
Photographed:
At the entrance to the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in May of 2010.
Planting and Care: Differing from its upright cousins, the hanging geranium has smoother shiny leaves as you can see in the photograph to the left. But, like its cousins, this tough flowering plant prefers neutral soil, full sun and relatively dry conditions to be at its happiest.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010

Geranium Mystery #2 Pelargonium
Photographed:
At the entrance to the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in May of 2010.
Planting and Care: These can be lovely and tough plants to grow where not much will thrive. They have lovely blossoms and and velvety medium green leaves. Give geraniums lots of sun and don't let them get too dry and you'll be thrilled with their appearance and their ease of care.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010

 

Variegated Geranium Mystery #3 Pelargonium
Photographed: In the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in June of 2010.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010

Geranium Mystery #4 Pelargonium
Photographed:
At the entrance to the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in May of 2010.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010

 
Geranium Mystery #6 Pelargonium
Photographed: In the Palermo Botanical Garden in Sicily, Italy.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2012

Geranium Mystery #7 Pelargonium
Photographed: In the Palermo Botanical Garden in Sicily, Italy.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2012

 

Geranium Mystery #8 Pelargonium
Photographed:
At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2011

Geranium Mystery #9 Pelargonium
Photographed:
At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2011

Geranium Mystery (Scented) #9a
Photographed:
In the Thuya Garden on Mt. Desert Island, Maine, 2013
Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

Geranium Mystery #10 Pelargonium
Photographed:
In the Thuya Garden on Mt. Desert Island, Maine, 2013
Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

Photographed: In a private garden in Sicily, Italy, in 2012.

 
**Geranium Tree See The "C" Page -- Cordia Tree
 

German Ivy, Water Ivy, Parlor Ivy Senecio mikanioides, Delairea odorata
From: South Africa
Benefits: This vine's pretty yellow flowers are butterfly and hummingbird attractants.
Photographed: On a wall by the side of the road in the town of Panajachel on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in May of 2010.
Planting and Care: This pretty and quick growing vine will be happy in full sun or semi shade with a reasonable amount of water. Plant it either as a ground cover or to grace a low stone wall.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010.
 
Giant Bat Face Cuphea See the "T" Page -- TORPEDO CUPHEA
 
Giant Pelican Flower See the "D" Page -- DUTCHMAN'S PIPE
 
**Giant Salvia See the "J" Page -- JAVA GLORYBOWER
 
Giant Yellow Justicia See the "B" Page -- BRAZILIAN PLUME FLOWER (YELLOW)
 
**Giant Yucca See The "Y" Page YUCCA -- Spineless Yucca
 
 

GINGER

 
**Cardamom Dwarf Shell Ginger Alpinia nutans
This is an attractive rarely-flowering type of ginger that grows to be about three feet tall. When it does flower, they look much like the flowers on a shell ginger. Its leaves are very fragrant when softly brushed.
Benefits: It is said to have medicinal benefits.
From:
Southeast Asia
Planting and Care:
It does fine in a shady tropical environment, though I think it would like a little more sun.
Text Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

 

**Common Ginger, Cooking Ginger, Edible Ginger Zingiber officinale
This ginger grows two to three feet tall in a beautiful plant that looks much like a dwarf bamboo. It likes a lot of water and partial shade. Ginger is related to tumeric, another great spice from India.
Benefits:
1. Drinking ginger tea may help with indigestion and tossing a bit into beans is said to reduce gas. Nausea and morning sickness may also respond well to a ginger tea. I haven't found ginger helpful in digestion, but my husband swears by it using the recipe for ginger tea below.
2. I accidentally also discovered ginger's beneficial effect on high blood pressure. When my pressure seems especially high, I have about 1/2 cup of ginger tea and within 10 minutes my pressure will have dropped 10 or more points. It seems a very nice solution if you have spiking blood pressure like me. When traveling I bring along a spice jar of powdered ginger and use a few shakes in a half glass of water. It works well too, but is a little bitter. Do talk to your physician before giving it a try just to be sure you won't have any adverse effects.
3. Ginger may also have beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflamatory qualities.
4. It is said that ginger may also have a beneficial effect in preventing or delaying cancer of the colon. It would be very interesting to know if cultures that rely on daily use of ginger have significantly lower rates of this type of cancer.
From: Southeast Asia
Planting and Growth: Soak a perfect root overnight and plant just under the soil with the buds facing up in a wind free and lightly shaded spot in your garden and water regularly. Ginger is a heavy feeder which quickly uses up the soil, so plan on using fertilizer or a rich organic soil for best results.
Harvesting: At any time feel free to cut stalks and use the stems. When the leaves begin to die back after nine or ten months it is ready for harvesting. Dig out the roots and after washing them well, dry them for two to three weeks. Root crops should not be planted for two years where ginger has grown.

Recipe for Ginger Tea:
Peel and thinly slice a large thumb sized piece of ginger root. Place in a two quart pan with one quart of water and 1/2 cup of sugar. Heat covered and keep at a slow simmer for about one half hour. This will produce a light ginger syrup which should be refrigerated. Use the syrup to make cold ginger drinks in a fifty/fifty mix using either purified water or carbonated water to make a ginger soda. The syrup will last about four days in a cold refrigerator.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2007/GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

 

Hedychium Ginger Mystery #3
Photographed: In the Hotel Atitlan Botanical Garden on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010

 
**Kahili Ginger Hedychium gardnerianum
We found this plant in an area of the property that had long ago gone back to being a truly untamed tropical garden. The kahili looked much like a spathiphyllum plant I'd had years ago so I transplanted it to see what it would do. Not much was the answer for a few years and then suddenly it flowered with very muted colors and very unflower like flowers that did in the end have a strange appeal.
Photographed: In our shady terrace garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: This type of ginger like so many of the others seems to prefer a semi shady area with bright light and routine rainfall or watering. It should be planted where its foliage will be the highlight rather than its infrequent and unusual flowers.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©Krika.com 2008

 

Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Pine Cone Ginger, Shampoo Ginger, Golden Shampoo Ginger Zingiber zerumbet
This is one of the more other worldly types of ginger. It could easily star in someone's sci-fi movie. The three young flowers to the right were on stalks about one foot high emerging from a plant with leaves about six to seven feet tall and very scruffy looking.
Benefits: Ingredients in the pine cone flower are actually used in shampoos.
From: India, Malay Penninsula, Indonesia and Sumatra.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010 and GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

 

Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Photographed: As part of a floral arrangement in Panajachel, Guatemala.

 

Pink Ginger Lily Alpinia purpurata
This is an exquisite member of the ginger family along with its identical twin the red ginger you may see below and what's best is they bloom most of the year. We lost ours to
Montserrat's devastating volcanic eruption in July of 2003.
From:
Malaya
Photographed:
At the Hotel Atitlan botanical garden on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2004/2010 and GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

 

**Red Button Ginger, Scarlet Spiral Flag, French Kiss, Dwarf Cone Ginger Costus woodsonii
This is a lovely easy to grow plant in the ginger family. It has bright red knobby sorts of flowers, almost like tight small pinecones.
From: Central America
Photographed:
In our deck garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: Red Button does best in sun or in a semi shady area with routine rainfall or watering though it will tolerate some dry periods. It doesn't seem at all difficult to grow or even to thrive and it makes an attractive and distinctive backdrop for other plants.

Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©Krika.com 2009/ 2010
 
Red Ginger Lily Alpinia purpurata
Photographed:
At the Hotel Atitlan botanical garden on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

 
Shampoo Ginger See Pine Cone Ginger Above
 
**Shell ginger Alpinia zerumbet
This large variety of ginger will grow to about nine feet when planted in its preferred partial shade and given adequate water. It is a tough plant; ours in Montserrat survived a drought with no watering as we were away for several months. Its sturdiness is wonderful, but its flowers are the real reason to have it in your garden. They are lovely!
Photographed: On the left in our shady terrace garden at our former home in Montserrat and on the right at the Hotel Atitlan at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and care: Shell ginger loves water and will do well in a sunny to semi shady setting flowering usually in the spring. It should be fertilized about twice a year.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2007/2010/2013
 

**Spiral Ginger, Crape Ginger, Crepe Ginger Costus speciosus
This is a very lovely plant with beautiful flowers and it lived happily in our terrace garden. Then one year we returned from our travels and saw it across the street in our neighbors garden.
From: Tropical Asia
Photographed: In our shady terrace garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: This lovely spiral stemmed ginger well situated will grow to about six feet tall and will have lots of lovely flowers and the foliage all by itself is very attractive. It will grow best in a bright semi shady area with routine rainfall or watering. If you happen to live in Montserrat, guard it carefully.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2007
 
 Variegated Spiral Ginger
  Benefits:
From:

Photographed: In the Jardin Botanique in Tahiti in 2013.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 

Torch Ginger, Tulip Torch Ginger Etlingera elatior or Phaeomeria speciosa or Nicolaio elatior
This is one of the creepier gingers which in almost all phases of flowering appears to be a plant from outer space, something dropped here on earth by accident or with a sinister plan. Of course this makes me want one for our garden as soon as I can get seeds or a seedling.
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Growth: While the leaves will shoot up to 14 feet, the flower stalks will be only 3 or 4 feet tall. They emerge first looking almost like a thin tulip on the top of a tall stem and then the real flower flows forth. The plant is said to prefer full sun or bright light, but all of the photographs here were taken in relatively deep shade though the tops of the tall leaf shoots were all in bright sun. The plants do seem to require lots of moisture and like almost all plants in the ginger family they do not like to be in a windy situation.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010
 
 

 
 

 
Tulip Torch See Torch Ginger Above
 

Variegated Ginger
Photographed:
At the Hotel Atitlan Botanical Garden on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010
 
White Ginger, Butterfly Ginger Lily Hedychium coronarium
Benefits: In some places parts of the plant are used medicinally.
From: India
Photographed: At the Hotel San Buenaventura on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: Like most gingers this one likes to be in the semi shade though it seems tolerant of more or less light. It is also most content with a highly composted moist soil.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010
 
Yellow Butterfly Ginger, Nardo Ginger Lily Hedychium flavum
From:
The Himalayas
Photographed: In the Hotel Atitlan Botanical Garden on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: Like most gingers this one likes to be in the semi shade though it seems tolerant of more or less light. It is also most content with a highly composted moist soil.

Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010

 

If you know what this plant is, please contact me and let me know too.
#1a Ginger Mystery
Photographed:
In the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, Australia, in 2013.
Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

If you know what this plant is, please contact me and let me know too.
#1 Ginger Mystery
Photographed:
In the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, Australia, in 2013.
Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

 

If you know what this plant is, please contact me and let me know too.
#2 Ginger Mystery
Photographed:
In the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, Australia, in 2013.
Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

If you know what this plant is, please contact me and let me know too.
#2a Ginger Mystery Detail
Photographed:
In the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, Australia, in 2013.
Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

 

If you know what this plant is, please contact me and let me know too.
#3 Ginger Mystery
Photographed: At the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center in Rhode Island in 2014.
Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2015

 
 
 
Ginko Tree Ginko biloba L.
  Benefits:
From:

Photographed:   In the Ortobotanico in Naples, Italy.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2012
 
 
GLOBE AMARANTH
 
**Globe Amaranth, Bachelor Button Gomphrena haageana
This relatively small plant, about 15 inches tall and wide adds a bit of color if you have a lot of greenery, but on its own I have never found it very interesting.

From: Central America
Planting and Care: This bright little plant is as useful in the garden for color as it is easy to care for. Though it prefers a sunny spot and routine rainfall or watering, it is adaptable and will tolerate some shade and dry periods pretty well.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010

Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan botanical garden on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Photographed: At the Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol, RI, in the USA in 2014.

 

Globe Amaranth, Bachelor Button Gomphrena globosa
I don't particularly like the purple variety of this plant, but when I saw this orange/red blossom in a wildflower setting it seemed perfect. It will grow to be about 2 feet in height and it will flower abundantly during the summer season.
Benefits: This flowering plant has a value in cultures as diverse as those in Hawaii, Trinidad and Tobago and Nepal.
From:
Central America
Photographed:
At the Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol, RI, in the USA in 2014.

Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

With my appreciation this mystery plant was solved by Jac from North Norfolk, England

 
 

Photographed: In the Thuya Garden on Mt. Desert Island, Maine, 2013. 

Globe Thistle Echinops 'Blue Gold'
These are intriguing flowering plants that may grow on you as they have me.
Benefits:
From:
Europe and east to Asia and south to Africa
Planting and Care: Plant the globe thistle in full sun in an area of your garden that has the poorest soil. It likes routine rainfall or watering and an acid soil if possible.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

Photographed: At the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2013. 

Photographed: In the Thuya Garden on Mt. Desert Island, Maine, in 2013. 

 

Glorious Flower of Cuba, Portlandia Portlandia grandiflora
This is a charming small tree that I plan to have in my garden as soon as possible. The flowers are glorious as are the buds as you can see in the photographs below. I honestly can't remember if it has a lovely scent, but wouldn't that be perfection!
From: Jamaica
Photographed:
At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in May of 2010.
Planting and care: This wonderful small tree likes to grow in full sun where it will receive routine deep rainfall or watering. It is salt tolerant which makes it perfect in a Caribbean environment.

Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

Tree Mystery solved by Ursula G. from Southern Germany

 
Glory Bush Tibouchina urvilleana
This is an easy to care for long blooming informal bush growing to perhaps 10 feet or so. While it doesn't seem to wow you at first, it does grow on you over time.
Photographed: May 2010 at the Hotel San Buenaventura at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Text and Photographs ©KO 2010
 
Glue Berries Tree See The "C" Page CLAMMY CHERRY TREE
 
**Goat Horn Tree
Goat horn is a meddlesome tree that resists elimination; cut it back and it simply grows again. It has sharp thorns and seems to find ideal growing conditions right within the root base of some of your favorite plants and trees. Its only saving grace apparently is that once mature it can be used in making charcoal.
Text Copyrighted © KO 2007
 
**Goatweed See The "P" Page -- POPPIES - Mexican Poppy
 

**Golden Apple Tree Aegle marmelos
The golden apple belongs in the citrus family. Its fruit is highly prized by those that know it. We received and planted a seedling and thought it would be a few years before we would know if it would become one of our favorites. Sadly we sold our home before we grew to know it well.

Photographed: Below our shady terrace garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 

Golden Dew Drop (1) Duranta erecta
With its beautiful purple flower this plant is inaptly named.
Planting and Care: Plant it in full sun to appreciate its full potential and prune it once a year to keep it well formed.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2008

 

Golden Dew Drop (2), Golden Eardrops, Pigeon Berry Duranta plumieri
This appealing shrub will grow to be about 10 feet tall at its best. Kept trimmed it will make a handsome hedge as you can see in the photograph below on the left.
From: Tropical Americas
Benefits --
Medicinal: According to a website I found, http://www.stuartxchange.org/Duranta.html, it has had several historic curative applications and presently studies have been undertaken to determine its benefits more scientifically.
Photographed: In the Palermo, Sicily, Italy, Botanical Garden

Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2012

 

Golden Plume Schaueria sp.
  Benefits:
From:

Photographed:  In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

Flower Mystery solved
by Ursula G. living in Southern Germany

 

Gold Fish, Guppy Plant Nematanthus sp.
This is a very attractive plant with its deep green shiny leaves and its unusual salmony orange flowers that really do look like little fish.
Benefits: Aside from its visual appeal it is nice to have as a butterfly and hummingbird attractant.
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: As you can see in the photograph, it will grow well as a hanging plant, though it is normally a ground cover in the open garden. Give it bright light or sun and a moderate amount of water to keep it happy.
Text & Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010

 
**Gold Vein Plant, Sanchezia, Fire Fingers Sanchezia speciosa or Sanchezia nobilis
This is a colorful bush as you can see with deep green leaves veined with yellow verging on white growing on reddish/purple stems. And, it also flowers with bright yellow blossoms that are hummingbird attractants. That's a lot of bang for a bush! Nevertheless, it is not one of my favorites.
From: Peru and Ecuador or Northern South America in general.
Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: Planted in full sun or in semi shade in a moist environment the gold vein plant will do its best reaching a height of from 6 to 8 feet or maybe more and spreading to as much as 6 feet. It is not frost hardy.
Text & Photographs Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 
**Gooseberry Tree Phyllanthus acidus SKEELS or Phyllanthus distichus
Growing to thirty feet or more given the moist soil it prefers, the gooseberry is a dense tree that seems visually busy in its appearance. It has small leaves growing on soft extended stems, fruits that seem to arise from everywhere, and bark that varies from smooth to spiny.
Benefits: Its sour yellow fruits turn red when cooked in sugar water making a very nice drink.
From: Madagascar or South Asia
Photographed: Below our terrace garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Problems: In bad years, like 2007, this lovely tree was very vulnerable to caterpillars. They ate every leaf twice that year. We were advised to consider introducing a systemic insecticide, but chose to lose the tree before introducing yet more poison into the already very toxified environment on that small island.
Text & Photographs Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 
Gourd Cucurbitaceae family
Benefits: These vining squash like fruits are dried and used as decorative fruits in many a home across the US. At one time in history they were used as storage vessels.
From:

Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.
Planting and Care: Think of this as a winter squash. Treat it just the same and it will flourish.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 

Photographed: In the (Ortobotanico) Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy, in 2014.

Grapes
      I have the most fond memories from childhood of sitting beneath a concord grape arbor with my little friends. We would get up now and then to pick another bunch of grapes, then sit back down chatting amiably while sucking on these indelibly flavored grapes. Probably the best thing about them was that there was no garden care at that home, so the grapes were not doused in chemicals.

      At that time of year, my mother would take us out to the country somewhere to buy pounds and pounds of these grapes which she would turn into a year's supply of grape jam. We never had Welches®.
Benefits:
Wine and maybe even grape jam.
From:

Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2015

 

Photographed: In Cefalu, Sicily, Italy, in 2012.

Photographed: In Cefalu, Sicily, Italy, in 2012.

 

A Southern Sicilian Vineyard in Spring
Photographed:
On the southern coast of Sicily, Italy, in 2012.

 

**Grape Ivy, Oak Leaf Ivy Cissus rhombifolia Ellen Danica
I loved the one I had growing in a hanging pot my apartment in Rhode Island many years ago. It was huge (2 feet wide and three feet long). Fortunately I had equally huge windows and this filled one of them.
Benefits:
From:
Tropical America
Photographed: In the Wellington Botanic Garden in Wellington, New Zealand, in 2013.
Planting and Care: This softer version of a vine loves to grow in a hanging basket in a bright area of the garden free of mid day and afternoon sun. It is an ordinary plant needing ordinary amounts of water.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

 
**Grass See The "Z" Page -- ZOIZIER
 
Great Morinda See The "N" Page -- NONI
 
Greek Akanthos See The "B" Page -- BEAR'S BREACH
 
**Greek Oregano See The "O" Page -- OREGANO
 
**Green Beans See The "B" Page -- BEANS
 
Green Lady Aeonium aboreum
This green plant has a black fraternal twin called Houseleek Tree or Black Rose. See it on the "H" Page.
From:
The Canary Islands
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2012
 
Green Peas See The "P" Page -- PEAS
 
**Green Peppers See The "P" Page -- PEPPERS
 

Green Tea
Green tea is a light and easy to make cool summer drink or hot warming tea to speed away winter's cold. For cool tea take four tea bags and place them in a quart bottle of filtered water. Leave it on the kitchen shelf out of the sun for the day. In the evening, take out the bags and put the tea in the refrigerator. Hot green tea is the usual bag in a cup or loose leaves in a teapot with boiling water.
Benefits: Teas, including green tea, may have benefits in fighting unhealthy bacteria in your digestive system which can't hurt. It is also recommended for folks with high blood pressure, but I found it to be just the opposite after a few days experimenting to see if it would help. Be sure to buy only organic green tea, as the commercial variety seems to be laced with quite a residue of pesticides.

Recommended Website: http://www.inthesetimes.com/issue/24/19/whittelsey2419.html

Text Copyrighted ©KO 2010 and GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

 

Groundleaf, Sea Grape, Tin Roof Tree Coccoloba pubescens
This is a common tree in the Caribbean growing in full sun or semi shade with no care. It is small with very large round rough leaves. We had a few of them in the garden, but to us they seemed to fall into the "weed tree" category so we had them removed.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2008

 
**Groundnuts See The "P" Page -- PEANUTS
 
**Ground Orchid See The "O" Page -- ORCHIDS
 
GUAVA

**Guava Tree Psidium guajava L.
Growing to between twenty and thirty feet tall, the guava gives us not only its delicious fruit, but many curatives as well. We had a lovely guava in our Taxco garden which required absolutely no care and annually gave us bushels of fruit. That was a tree after my own heart! In Montserrat, in an area called St. George's Hill, there are beautiful groves of guava trees. We were able to visit that area of the island a few years ago when it was not included in the volcano exclusion zone. Sadly, St. George's Hill is now off limits for the foreseeable future.
Benefits:
1. Its leaves and bark may be steeped as a tea to treat diarrhea.
2. Guavas are very high in vitamin C, much higher than oranges, and they are a good source of vitamin A and antioxidants.
3. To treat colds and inflammation of the legs, blend peeled guavas with orange juice and strain for a delicious and hopefully helpful drink.
4. To treat itchy insect bites, crush guava leaves and apply to the bite.

From: Florida, Mexico through Central America and the West Indies
Planting and Care: This very pretty tree is known to be a heavy feeding fast grower, producing its wonderful fruit in its second or third year. The guava grows best in full sun in a warm and sheltered setting with a rich moist soil that is more alkaline than acidic (a pH of 5 to 7). It will also give its best if you provide a generous amount of organic fertilizer on a regular basis.

Text Copyrighted ©KO 2007 and GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014
For more information see http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/guava.html

 
 
 

Pineapple Guava Feijoa sellowiana
In a special botanical garden like that in Naples, Italy, this small tree makes a person stop to admire and then examine. It is lovely when flowering from April through to June and of a size that makes it welcome in many smaller gardens.
Benefits: The fruit of this little tree is something special combining the flavors of pineapple and guava or pineapple and strawberry.
From: Northern Argentina and adjoining countries.
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy, in 2014.
Planting and Care: Prefering slightly acidic soil, Feijoa sellowiana are tolerant of soils and temperatures.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2015

With my appreciation, this mystery tree #5 was identified by Peter from Auckland, New Zealand.

 
 
**Gum Tree, Tourist Tree Bursera simaruba
This is a fast growing tree that can be very attractive, but it will need to have some control or your property will soon be overrun with them. It was called a gum until the last couple of decades when tourists to the Caribbean made toast of themselves on the beaches. Their red and peeling skin reminded locals of the gum tree hence its new name.
Benefits:
1. In Montserrat, gum tree bark is used as an antibiotic. Peel the bark and let it dry. Apply the dried bark to a wound and watch it heal.
2. Gum tree branches make great fence posts in the Caribbean where dead wood is so often attacked by termites. Simply stick a gum tree branch in the ground where you wish to have a fence post. Tie it to your fencing material, sit back and watch. Not only will you have a very secure fence post, you will have a tree! And the best news is that the gum tree is relatively unattractive to the plentiful and voracious Caribbean termites.
Planting and Growth: The gum will grow nicely in full sun or semi shade and it will handle dry conditions if it has to.
The bark and trunk of the gum tree are very soft and easy to cut; unfortunately the roots are tenacious so be sure you want one before you plant it.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2008/2010
 
Guppy Plant See GOLD FISH Above on this Page

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