Sunday, June 10, 2012

One Tough Ginger

Variegated shell ginger, aka Alpinia zerumbet, was the only ginger on sale at our local, privately owned (not big box) nursery. It is not Culinarily Acceptable, it’s a decorative ginger, but I wanted a ginger in my garden, so I bought it. About 12 months ago. It was bigger then.
In my neck of the woods, if you can’t stand 100kph winds and salty, corrosive sea spray on a weekly basis, you’re toast. Plants that survive here are tough customers.
Poor ginger. We had 2 tropical storms hit last summer, and it barely survived. I put up this little plastic headstone after Halloween as an ironic commentary on gardening on windswept sand dunes…and ginger grew! Turns out the headstone acts as a windbreak and now ginger looks like any other native plant- windswept, brown around the edges, close to the ground, and TOUGH as nails! I think it will survive this year’s storm season. GIP (Grow In Peace), Gingy!


  1. what a great discovery!!!! I just moved a honeysuckle after finding out that some trash plant on the other side of the fence is toxic (everything it touches dies). I'm hoping the honey comes back - it looks pretty dead. Then again, so did the apple sapling I stole from Walmart because they left it out of the pot to die. It looked completely dead - but is now coming back. Nature tends to want to survive, it seems...

  2. Omigosh, you rescue plants from the trash, Musette, you are my Biopod Twin! ;-) Seriously, I've got some amazing plants in my garden that I've hauled out of somebody else's trash (when they couldn't see me doin' it!). And I have a hedge in my yard that, though lovely, kills anything it touches. I know that we see plants as peaceful creatures but the reality is sometimes much more violent than we can perceive at a short glance...I remember trees in the Alps that spewed poison from their roots so nothing could germinate within 3 meters of their trunks.... I remember honeysuckle from my DC childhood- we used to gather buckets of it at recess and suck out the nectar before the bell rang....