Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Inside Logee's, Finding the Unusual!

Logee's has been around since 1892 and just knowing that will explain many of these pictures. When you walk through Logee's things have just sort of grown where they were placed. Some plants have remained in the same spot for years,
while other plants simply wind themselves around whatever structure is available. Come take a look!
The entrance photo has a metal chain pulley, which is a hand-crank vent, that towers amongst the tropical flowers and foliage. Another beauty that surrounds a man-made structure is Thunbergia mysorensis. This rare flower form makes itself known in the "Big House." Long vines dangle with yellow and burgundy flowers blooming
their heads off from winter through summer. The flowers reach for the iron heating pipe and suspend themselves in mid-air above or beyond the heat source.
Another unusual sight in the "Big House", growing in the middle of the aisle, is the base of a plant that looks like an upside down pot. Soft green moss and algae grow on the roots' ridges, attesting to the age of this kumquat tree. This impressive trunk has long outgrown its pot and has rooted itself into the ground over 70 years ago. Today, it is
home to over 5 different varieties of kumquats, plus a variegated calamondin orange. The vigor of the original tree, Fortunella margarita 'Nagami' has such a strong root system that other varieties have been successfully grafted on. 'Nagami' is the oval kumquat that can be
bought in a local grocery store. The next kumquat that is most prevalent on the tree is the Meiwa, which is the round sweet kumquat.
Logee's is a great place for vining plants. The vanilla orchid vine is a
favorite of mine climbing up the wall of our propagation house. We carry Vanilla planifolia and the vine, like this one, has to get about 4-5 feet before it begins blooming and producing vanilla beans. The trick to producing vanilla beans is first,make sure your vanilla plant is up to size and second, you must hand pollinate the flower during the blooming season.
Notice how the tendrils have wrapped themselves around
the piping, the vents and fan, yet here it has grown happily for the past 20 years.
One more site that amazes our visitors is this wheel vent that we have to crank open and shut every day. It's not so much
the antiquity of the wheel but the ficus vine that has
snuggly found a home along the pipes. Since we're on the topic of unusual, one plant worth mentioning is our very rare, intensely fragrant Tabernaemontana holstii. I walked into the greenhouses this morning and not only did its 5-pointed curled petal grab my attention, the sweetness of the flowers sent a fragrant reminder that yes, Spring is on the way! Of course, this is only a smattering of unusual forms that you'll see at Logee's. Mostly, you will be immersed in colorful flowers and intoxicating fragrance in a green world from head to toe.

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