I was stunned when I walked into the yard of Diane Smith in Amsterdam. You could have knocked me over with a Dracaena leaf. I had stepped into a tropical forest, complete with cascading waterfalls, ponds, air plants, Spanish moss and Orchids. Diane is an avid plant collector and many of her specimens have come from Faddegon’s Nursery.
She is gifted with a huge green thumb and an artist’s eye for creating stunning vignettes. I strolled by endless pots containing different varieties of Begonia, tropical Hibiscus, Pitcher Plant, Mandevilla, Banana tree (Musa) and Elephant Ear (Colocasia). After taking in the breathtaking display, my first question was how does she winter over all of these specimens? Then she took me to a large greenhouse, awaiting the annual fall procession of pots into its gaping cavity. A similar space would be filled to capacity in her basement. No doubt about it, the seasonal migration of these tropical beauties is work, but their exquisite, mesmerizing contribution to the summer landscape is unequalled. Bravo Diane!