“All Ears”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana
Saturday through Monday, we had some very unusual weather. A cool front made it to the Gulf Coast, and while the temperatures were still in the high 80’s, the air was very dry. Dew points were much lower than normal which made being outside pleasant, and I was able to work in the garden for a change. Usually the middle of summer means just running out of the air conditioning long enough to water a few thing, but this weekend I was able to cut back shrubs and vines and plant others that have been in containers too long. With the lower dew points, it was warm outside but not the sweat drenching atmosphere that is so common.
Another thing that occupied my time was my daughter’s minor surgery on Monday. Everything went fine, but it sure is tiring just sitting around a hospital.
But to get back to the garden. One of the plants that is doing very well this summer is one of my alocasias, Metallica. I have this growing in a large container with chartruese-colored hostas at its base. Even though it does die back every winter, it is a wonderful plant to have. In the large container, it is a focal point for a section of the back garden.
The shiny leaves gives rise to the “metallica” name. Its botanical name is Alocasia plumbea “metallica”. This plant, like all elephant ears, does best in moist soil. The leaves have a quilted texture and can get quite large. My plant does not get as large because it is in a container, and I don’t think my garden has enough room for a full sized plant anyway. While these can get to be almost five feet tall in optimum conditions, mine is only about three feet tall, but with it being in a container, the whole thing stands about five feet. Besides the shiny or reflective leaves, the color, too, is striking. The back sides of the leaves are a darker olive-purple and when the wind blows, the under side of the leaves make a nice contrast with the top sides.
Another nice quality of this plant is the colored stems they have. The stems are a red-purple color, and because mine is in a large pot and the plant is therefore elevated, you can really see these stems with the reflective leaves on top.
Elephant ears really lend a tropical feel to a garden and look good with the cannas and gingers. I have mine nestled in among holly ferns, pinecone ginger and hidden ginger. That area of the garden reminds me of a tropical jungle which with our normal summer temperatures seems so appropriate.