I believe the first time I saw Colocasia esculenta 'Mojito' was at the Independent Garden Center Show in the booth my Hort Couture Plants a couple of years ago. Since then I've seen it at the Mid-America Horticultural Trade Show and most recently being sold by the Duth bulb sellers at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show. Perhaps it was the lighting, setting or maybe the growing conditions the plant had been endured, but I wasn't ever really impressed by 'Mojito.' Elephant ear plants are interesting and beautiful in their own right and I didn't really see what this new elephant ear plant had to offer to the average home gardener that grows these to provide a tropical flair to the garden.
Macy's Flower Show opens in Chicago this weekend. I've written a post for my Chicago Garden blog that has all the pictures of the preview of "Towers of Flowers," the show's 2011 theme. I thought I'd save a few pictures to show you all who don't read that blog. Every year the cacti & succulent display garden is my favorite along with the smattering of bromeliads. Besides just being a collection of some of the most interesting indoor plants, they're always displayed so nicely. My ideal indoor garden consists of a large south facing window with a collection of cacti & succulents arranged like this.
The Chicago Flower & Garden Show ended this past weekend and while there wasn't much to see for an average gardener like myself, I did like this hat. I've been calling it a gardening hat, but it really is a piece of art designed by Janette Gerber that is TRON meets the Red Hat Society. It is sculpted out of fiberglass and programed LED lighting to change colors. Starting seeds with LED lights is a big trend right now, especially among younger gardeners, and I wouldn't be surprised if we see garden clothing and tools embedded with LED lights.
Before tossing away old seed or ordering new seeds from your favorite seed catalog you should test the older seeds you have to save you a bit of time and money. Testing older seed germination rates can save you from wasting time, seed starting soil and supplies on seeds that may not sprout. A seed germination test is really simple and can be done by any home gardener with items you already have around the home. Do this seed viability test at home before planting your older seeds.