Six on Saturday – W17/2020 – Hanging around

Today is ANZAC Day here in Australia and New Zealand. None of the usual Dawn Services to honour the fallen Anzacs could take place due to the current lockdown and distancing restrictions, and instead everyone was encouraged to stand at the top of their driveway, or on their balcony, and attend the live broadcast of the service from Canberra or via the RSL website. A sombre time for reflection, listening to the service, accompanied by the tall sentinels of the Australian landscape, the Eucalyptus trees, just across the road from us.

Back to todays Six on Saturday…… As my garden is still in its infancy, there are very few reasonably sized trees and shrubs that provide enough shade for the shade loving plants. In order to accommodate all my shade loving plants, I planted some into pots which I have tucked into all the available shady areas, while others have been planted into hanging baskets suspended in the shade from strong tree branches. I thought I would show you some of my shade loving hanging pots.

1. Nodding violet Streptocarpus caulescens

This is an ideal plant for a hanging basket, or even a tall pot as the plant drapes itself around the pot! The beautiful little blue and white flowers nod away in the slightest breeze giving rise to its common name. This particular plant has been flowering for months, and is in a semi-circular wire basket, lined with coir, and hangs on a dividing fence under the Tibouchina trees (northern side of the garden).

2. Ipomea batatas

These plants are really a type of sweet potato and have the most striking coloured foliage, providing a wonderful contrast to other plants. One’s eye is automatically drawn to their spectacular colour. The first is bright yellow-green in colour, while the other is a deep reddish-brown colour. The yellow-green one is in a semi-circular wire and coir basket on the fence behind the nodding violet. This particular plant was looking very forlorn last week, so I decided to repot it, and just as well I did as the tubers were getting too big for the small pot. I divided the plant and repotted the smaller ones into individual pots.

The other Ipomea plant is growing in a plastic basket with a bright green small-leaved ground cover (I have no idea what it is). This basket is hanging from a branch of the Tibouchina in the front garden, close to an elkhorn fern, Platycerium bifurcatum, which is growing on the lower trunk of the Tibouchina.

3. Cissus rhombifolia and Dichondron repens ‘Silver Falls’

I planted these two plants into a brown plastic hanging basket, thinking that the trailing Silver Falls would enhance the look of the whole basket, and I think it does. Both plants are lovely foliage plants, and the colours compliment each other.

4. Rhipsalis paradoxa

After spending a while searching on Google for the species name of this Ripsalis, I finally concluded that it is probably ‘paradoxa‘. Ripsalis is an epiphytic cactus, also known as the mistletoe cactus. Most are native to South America. Most make ideal specimens for hanging baskets, as they send out long stems from their bases which hang down over the side of the baskets. This particular species develops little round ‘berries’ along its stems, that last for many months, eventually turning white and dropping off. This particular specimen is hanging under a Tibouchina in the back garden, again on the northern side of the garden.

A second Rhipsalis is hanging in out of a little clay watering can.

5. Peperomia (species unknown to me)

Yet another garage sale find! This little specimen is quite dainty, and as with all Peperomias, it has long slender flower spikes which extend beyond the foliage. They do make lovely indoor plants too. One vital piece of information I have just discovered about Peperomia is that they are not to be consumed by humans or pets as they are poisonous!

6. Rabbits foot fern, Davallia fejeensis and bromeliad (possibly a Vriesea)

This wire and coir semi-circular basket hangs on the back of the chickens ‘day spa’ (their place of safety during the day, i.e. when we have to go out). I planted out a small rabbits foot fern plus this bromeliad into the basket, and they seem to work well together, especially with the splash of colour provided by the bromeliad flowers. As you can see in the first photo, the fern’s rhizomes are starting to enclose the outside of the basket.

That is my Six for the week. I do hope that everyone has had an opportunity to relax in their gardens during the week while social distancing. I will relax later on today and enjoy reading about what other bloggers from around the world are doing in their gardens, all hosted by The Propagator. Have a look at the link to his site here.


    • The foliage colour are definitely striking. I did read that the plants actually produce sweet potato tubers, but they are considerably smaller than the commercial sweet potatoes.

  1. Attractive and interesting selection of plants. I thought the nodding violet very sweet and the darker foliage ipomea looks great trailing down.

  2. Love that nodding violet & its cherub. What’s the speckled foliage next to it? The ipomea foliage is also wonderful. Do the rhizomes of the rabbit fern stay around the basket or is that a sign of a divide in its future. These are all such lovely combos for shade & that tea pot!

    • The nodding violet is one of my favourites. It looks so dainty. The speckled foliage is a Coleus, quite a dark coloured leaf that needs something light planted next to it to show it off. The rabbits foot fern rhizomes grow along the ground, but when they are in a hanging pot the rhizomes can envelop the pot. It looks really lovely. Some shade plants have such lovely foliage that can be shown off to better advantage in a hanging pot. I’m glad you like the little teapot. The succulent works well in it – mainly because I forget to water it sometimes. I’ve lost other more water sensitive plants in it before.

  3. What a wonderful selection! I particularly like the Rhipsalis is hanging in out of a little clay watering can.What a great idea!

    When the garden centres open I want to treat myself to some more plants.

  4. I’ve always loved the nodding violet but it wouldn’t be happy here. Your post is full of things I could have grown in my Sydney garden years ago. I like the contrasts in the leaf colours and shapes.

  5. I think my top pick for the thing I wish I could grow outdoors here would have to be the Platycerium. The epiphyte flora of the UK is sadly deficient and one of them (or three) would be a big improvement.

    • They are fabulous plants, and, as I’m sure you know, native to Australia. The first time I saw them in abundance was in Eungella National Park, west of Mackay. There were just so many way up high in the forest trees. I was in awe of them! Luckily they are pretty common here in the Hinterland National Parks and in gardens too. They are really amazing plants!

    • It is lovely, isn’t it? And it seems such an easy plant to grow here. I’ve split the plant a number of times, so now have a few scattered around the garden. Re: Google – I usually have it open while I’m writing my posts to try and avoid giving the wrong information. And like you, when I’m reading other posts because there is invariably something I need to look up!

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