Thursday, December 18, 2008

Okay, So I'm a Bit Obsessed

But it isn't my fault really. Charleston is just such a great laboratory for observing microclimates. Like this tropical hibiscus blooming today in downtown Charleston long after the hibiscus in my yard just across the harbor were killed by the frost. This particular plant bloomed all last winter and never had any frost damage at all and is now reaching for the second floor of the building.
This plant, though, was born with a horticultural silver spoon in its, ah, mouth:
  • It is planted up against a heat-retaining brick wall.
  • It is located just a few hundred feet from the Charleston Harbor where the heat retained by the water warms the air a bit. The entire penninsula of Charleston is warmer than surrounding areas because the two rivers that flank it provide a slight warming to the air.
  • It is located in downtown Charleston which is warmer due to the effects of the urban heat island.
I'm very jealous. The hibiscus in my yard won't bloom until next fall because they will have to come back all the way from the root IF they come back at all. What a difference a few miles can make.


Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

I just love Charleston!

I found your post on Blotanical this morning. Your blog title is just wonderful, too!

Defining Your Home Garden
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Cosmo said...

I'm clearly WAY behind in my reading, but just thought I'd pop in and say Happy Holidays--and I appreciate your obsession--it's helping me exploit my own small microclimates.