Our Future Jungle at Present

It’s done! A dragon teeth border, which will bite any car tire coming too close to precious plants & sprinkler heads, concluded the installation of Barry’s Jungle Garden in our front yard. We are very happy to see, how even this narrow strip of juvenile jungle enhances and beautifies our property. 
Since I woke up to a crisp and clear morning, not always a given at the height of the rainy season, I took advantage of the bright rays of the rising sun to document some of the garden’s features.
The Center Piece, a coco plumoso palm
View toward the gate with an open space over Otto’s grave. We want to put a decorative carving or other stone ornaments there, to remember both dogs who lived here with us.


The widest part of the flower bed with multiple tiers of shapes, heights, and textures.
On the left is the existing cluster of Palms.


Our proud centerpiece, the coco plumoso palm, Syagrus romanzoffiana, is named after Imperial Chancellor Nikolay Petrovich Rumyantsev, who was an enthusiastic supporter & financier of Russian exploration. The grateful naturalists reciprocated by naming all sorts of plants & animals after him. During an especially gusty storm last week, poor little plumoso fell over, so we had to secure it with temporary guy wires until it’s anchored properly with stronger and deeper roots. 

The next pictures illustrate some of the details of Marian’s design. She selected the plants and arranged their placement to result in a densely layered green jungle, incorporating a wide variety of shades, shapes, and textures, with a little splash of color here and there. Naturally, it will take a few rainy seasons to achieve the full effect!

In the center Papiro Egipcio, Cyperus papyrus; the papyrus is surrounded, among others, by Etlingera elation, Giant Red Torch Ginger or Bastón del Emperador, emperor’s cane, as it’s called here and by Monstera deliciosa, Filodendrum Mano de Tigre or tiger’s paw!


The Jinjibre Rojo* already adds some strong color to the Fiesta de Verdes,
all of it protected by a brick border

*I dare you to say Red Ginger in Spanish! The ‘J’ is pronounced like a German ‘H’, a short ha. In Facebook comments, you sometimes see this: jajajajajajajaja. In my mind, as a German, I think of it as yesyesyes, but it’s actually laughter: hahahahahahahaha 🙂

The background greenery of grasses and bushes growing up the hillside ‘wall’ behind the flower bed, looking so lush now, will die and turn brown during the dry season. In order to maintain our jungle year round, we had to put a sprinkler system in. Even when we’re not there, the automated sprinklers allow us to mist the thirsty greenery during the four to five months, when Mother Nature turns off her faucets.


Ultimately the ground will be covered with this purple & green creeper,
one of the hundreds of Pilea species of the tropics



Naturally, I have to conclude my report with a couple of mood pictures so you may enjoy the mesmerizing play of light and shadow on these beautiful leaves, some still moist from last nights tropical shower.
Thank you, Marian & Ray,
We love the first phase of our jungle garden.

One thought on “Our Future Jungle at Present

  1. Claudia,
    This is enchanting! For some reason it hit me wishing Felecia could see it. We did so many jungly art/drama projects together. Thanks for sharing your creation.


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