“String of Pearls”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana
I am finally starting to feel better and have started working in the garden again. I was surprised what has happened in the week I have been out of the garden. One thing that really floored me was the blooming of the shell ginger. Last time I looked there was nothing, not even a hint of a flower, and then yesterday, there were whole bloom clusters showing their round, white flowers looking for all the world like a string of pearls.
This variegated shell ginger receives morning sun and has bloomed the last three years. I have some of the plain green ginger which has been in two years, is a good size, but is in shade, and that one has not bloomed. I don’t think I will be getting any flowers on those plants because of the shade, but that is okay because I planted them for screening not for flowers. This variegated ginger has done well here, getting only occasionally nipped by the cold weather. Earlier this spring I did cut it back some since it was starting to come a little too close to the front of the border.
With its varigated foliage, this plant is pretty enough, but the flowers are so unusual that they are an added bonus. Eventually the little round “pearls” will open showing bright orange-red and yellow.
The flowers only appear on old growth which is why if there is a hard winter freeze, there will be no blooms, but even though we had some pretty cold weather this year, this stand of ginger must have some protection from the surrounding azaleas and overhead trees.
So, after being out of the garden for a week, these flowers were a nice “welcome back” present from old Mother Nature.