Demonstration category - Participant# 401 || 2004 Contest

Welcome to KrolikUdaff-TopTropicals!

front yard - ponds and orchids (front patio) - back yard - fruit trees - plants in pots (back patio) - house plants - zoo

Now let's go to the main garden - Back Yard. The narrow path along East side of the house is made with Pine Bark nuggets. Real forest feeling when you walk on it.

Ever-blooming galphimia -
"Golden Rain".
On the right along the pathway - unconquerable ipomoea.

"Cat tails"of Acalypha hispida. Very easy to grow plant, fast growing and everblooming! Between the 2 bushes you see Justicia betonica white bracts. On the left - Annona Squamosa (Sugar Apple) tree with fruit!


From West side of the house - same Acalypha with Caricature Plant (Graptophyllum pictum).

Tibouchina urvilleana

The purple flowers in this jungle belong to Tibouchina urvilleana - Princess flower. A real Princess, isn't she?

Fagraea (Pua Keni Keni) grew from little cutting that we bought 2 years ago for $50... Now it's a huge 6' bush that blooms year round. Fragrance is intoxicating...

If you walk through West side of the property, there is a little rainforest oasis.

Heliconia rostrata


Monstera Deliciosa under Queen Palm.

Zingiber Zerumbet

Shampoo ginger and flowers of Clerodendrum paniculatum. Krolik is fond of red flowers... as they say about Russians: better dead than red! :-) But RED is the most beautiful!

Clerodendrum paniculatum

Red leaves of Blood Leaf -
Iresine herbstii

Clerodendrum paniculatum
var. Borneo Sunset

Cuphea llavea - one of the most beautiful
and easy ground covers
that blooms year round.

We are not big experts of Brugmansias, since there are so many cultivars while we have a huge selection of many different species. At the beginning we only labeled them by color: white, pink, yellow. Later when Donna Bailey sent us cuttings of many different varieties, we started a big collection...

However, this Brugmansia on the picture is our own cultivar that we called "Royal peach" that happened by accident as a result of cross-pollinating. This brugmansia grows at the corner of the house in semi-shade. The seed that this plant was grown from came from B. candida 'Cypress Garden' but the flower looks incredible! The trumpet is as long as the "Cypress Garden', but color changes from white through yellow to deep peach and flowers have long curled whiskers. Sometimes you can see different colors at the same time! Look at the photos of flowers.

Here we are at the back yard. It is very pretty just because it's a lake front. You may enjoy our sunsets here. The backyard is quite small, around 1/8 of acre, but we managed to fit hundreds of plants here...

On this page we just take a look at the flowers we have here...

First of all, this is how the backyard looked 2 years ago when we bought the house. Yes, there was room and there was time to enjoy! The only plants that grew there were Krolik's tomatoes (see along the lake?). Tomatoes were another accident. When she was making a salad, one tomato contained seeds that sprouted right inside the vegetable! How can one through this live thing away? We planted those seeds right on the lake bank so they don't need to be watered. They grew in no time and soon we had a great harvest!

This tiny plant in a pot on the left picture is Clerodendrum Minahasse which grew into a huge bush (picture on the right). Below it - Justicia brandegeana along with Pachystachys (Yellow shrimp) - they both are as tall as 6ft! We were sure it was supposed to be a small container plant or ground cover. C. minahasse has extremely fragrant flowers and can be compared with jasmines! The flowers a fountain-like and look very beautiful, as well as the fruit - see pictures in Catalog.

Mexican Flame vine - senecio confusus - is a very vigorous grower that blooms year round.

Purple flowers belong to solanum rantonnetii, blue - clerodenrum ugandense, amongst them - Mexican Flame vine highlights. This rose is one of the best we have, it tolerates Florida humidity and blooms year round.

Another rose and Plumbago bushes (blue and white), above them - a young Jackfruit tree, which is only 2 y.o. but it bloomed this year - so far only with male flowers, but we hope next spring we'll have fruit!

This swing was taken over by vines: Senecio and Passiflora (3 kinds)

Golden Allamanda...
Crimson flowers of Mirabilis (Four o'clock plant) fill the backyard with wonderful fragrance at night.

... pink leaves of Caladiums make a perfect color accent in ground cover of Creeping Charlie under a young Triangle Palm...

Now attention, passion flower lovers!

This picture is made 1 week after the one above it. Now you have an idea why we prefer not to have a big selection of Passiflora vines. How can possibly we maintain THIS in a pot?

One of the most rewarding flowers is allamanda. It blooms profusely year round, and it seems the more you trim it, the more flowers it produces.

Florida is not the best place for gardening unless you try to grow vegetables in winter when it's not that hot. However, after her fun experience with tomatoes, Krolik decided to give it a try and just stuck a few seeds of cucumbers directly in soil, under the palm trees... And see what happened...

The Fox Tail is one of the most beautiful palms. Red Cordyline (Hawaiian Ti leaf) enjoys full sun although it's supposed to be a shade lover... It gets brighter in bright light. Ground cover is... cucumbers! (no link to catalog, sorry).

Vines... and more

A number of vines grow along the fence of the property as well as they climb up the house wall. We don't use any trellises - just a couple ropes seem to be enough to give a plant a start support, then it matures and as soon as it's main stem gets woody, it is strong enough to grow upright.

Quisqualis is not only a showy vine, and yet a fragrant flower!

Clitoria - one of the most popular vines thanks to it's name and dark blue unusual for tropics color.

It climbed all the way to the roof. Very fast growing and easy. As a member of Pea family, it produces lots of seeds.

Bleeding Heart

Satiraea magnifica

Dombeya wallichii is supposed to be a bush. Indeed, it grows into a bushy tree so fast that in just in a few months you don't see anything around it - it's all covered with it's giant leaves. In winter, the tree is all covered with beautiful pink flowers.

One of the most impressive and unusual blooming shrubs is mussaenda. It comes in different colors, and yet those are not flowers! Like those of Bougainvillea, the flower itself is very tiny.

On the pictures below you see Jasminum Sambac Maid of Orleans grown within a few months. For those who intend to plant it in ground, make sure you have enough room for it, it's a very vigorous vine! Unless trimmed, it will cover your window in matter of months. J.S. Belle of India is more shrubby, and Grand Duke variety is even more compact and very slow-growing. Next to Sambac we planted Cestrum Nocturnum (guess why - yes, to enjoy Night Blooming Jasmine fragrance at night, and Arabian Jasmine - in the afternoon). You see the result. This extremely fragrant plant is also fast growing and yes, it needs space, unless you keep in in a container.

Large liana on the right - lonicera japonica (Honey Suckle), one of the best fragrances in the world! Red leaves - of Poinsettia. Yes, it will grow happily in a ground and it is a perennial! Don't through away your Christmas poinsettia, it will grow and turn red again every December under a proper care.

Pagan Temple

The famous part of the garden is our "Pagan Temple" as we call it. Instead of regular barbeque set (like normal people do) we decided to create something different. Now we can make shash kebab on open fire and play it wild. In order to design the place, we made our own Easter Island Sculptures

red flowers of Russelia by little Pindo Palm

Pandanus - Screw Pine

Large velvet leaves of Tibouchina Multiflora


Under Washingtonia palm - Chinese Hat (Holmskioldia sanguinea). It's a very unusual looking flower, and it blooms in winter, adding nice (Red!) color to a winter landscape.

Chinese Hat and Tahitian Hat

front yard - ponds and orchids (front patio) - back yard - fruit trees - plants in pots (back patio) - house plants - zoo