Phacelia is a genus of annual and perennial herbaceous plants from the Americas. These quick growing plants are usually used in massive plantation schemes for cover empty spaces and for their attractive spring blooms. These sun loving plants are easy to grow and require moderate watering in a well-drained soil.
One of the commonly known species is Phacelia Campanularia or California Bluebell. It is a fast growing plant with fresh green foliage and blue flowers that appear in spring or summer. Like most species of Phacelia, it attracts bees and hoverflies that kill aphids thus making it a good companion plant in vegetable gardens.
Phacelia, Image by Wayfinder_73 (flickr)
Phacelia Campanularia can be grown as ground cover or border plant near lettuce, tomatoes, roses or other flowering plants or fruit trees that are prone to aphid attack.
Washingtonia or the Mexican Palm is one of the favorite palms of landscape designer for its ornamrntal fronds and ability to grow in poor growing conditions. Native of desert mountain valleys and canyons of Mexico and North America, Washingtonia grows under sunny conditions and grows easily in poor, sandy soil. It can withstand spells of drought and thus makes a good choice for xeriscape projects.
The genus is represented by two species: Washingtonia Robusta or Mexican Fan Palm and Washingtonia Filifera or California Fan Palm. The former is more popular as ornamental tree and has been hybridized and domesticated in almost all tropical regions of the world.
Typically, Washingtonia Robusta can grow up to 100 feet though it takes quite a long time to attain that height. The plant is covered by the crown of large glossy-green and fan-shaped fronds that grow symmetrically around a tall, slender trunk. The solitary trunk of the plant bulges near the ground but continues to grow as slender trunk towards the crown.
Washingtonia Robusta, Image by floresyplantas.net
Mature trees produce attractive blooms followed by small edible fruits.
Washingtonia Robusta can be used as a versatile ornamental plant in landscapes as well as small gardens. Young plants can be grown in containers as nice foliage plants for patios. Larger plants can be grown in open landscape projects where they can stay for decades and grow in to skyscraper-trees. They also serve as ornamental trees along streets or pathways.
Both species are grown from seeds. Though these plants grow without much care, however, a balanced and well-drained soil with regular watering really helps them flourish quickly.
Asarina usually described as Maurandia is a small genus of climbing perennials with evergreen foliage and very attractive flowers of purple, white, blue, yellow and white colors. Flowers are trumpet shaped and bloom from late spring till late autumn.
Asarina Procumbens, Image from wrightmanalpines.com
Suitable for hanging baskets, balcony gardens or as climbers against trellis and walls, Asarina are quite easy to grow. They require regular watering in fertile but well-drained soil, and bright sunlight to flourish. Most of the species grow quite well in cold climates where they are provided shelter from heavy frost. Asarina can be grown from cuttings planted in summer.
Asarina is commonly known as Creeping Gloxina, Climbing Snapdragon or Mexican Twist.