May is for the blooming hoya

hoya vine
It was this time of year when Jeff, the kids and I moved into our home. The yard was a jungle and the children likened it to one their favorite books, ‘Jumanji’.
hoya vine (1)
It was clear that the original owners had a penchant for tropical houseplants and planted as many as they could in the yard, under the canopy of oak trees and cabbage palm. For twenty years, more or less, they had grown untouched and with wild abandon. Some had grown to sizes that I would have never imagined and hardly recognized.
hoya vine (3)
But there was one, in particular, that I was sure I had never seen before… this beautiful vine with white and pink flower clusters which look like upside down parachutes.
hoya vine (4)
I was enchanted and wanted this home and little plot of paradise more than I was capable of explaining. Fortunately Jeff understood my mutterings, and the look in my eyes.
We made it our home thirteen years ago and never looked back.
hoya vine (5)
Every house-anniversary, we are greeted with our favorite, among favorites, of flowers that bloom in our yard.
hoya vine (6)
Hoya is a genus of several hundred species of tropical climbing plants, and our pretty vine here is one of one-hundred species of the Hoya--- the Hoya Carnosa. Traditionally called ‘Grandma's Old Fashioned Wax Plant’, it is one of the most common.
hoya vine (7)
I’ve recently seen it being called ‘Strawberries & Cream Wax Plant’ by a seller on and thought that name suited it just fine.
hoya vine (8)
Ours grow up our trees and are particularly fond of the cabbage palms. Their blooms last for several months and release a strong, yet heavenly, lingering, smell in the evenings.
hoya vine (9)
I’ve decided to try some easy stem cutting to see if I can get them to root. If I’m successful I will be spreading this lusciousness around to friends and family during visits. 
hoya vine (10)
Such a small, simple, and genuine gesture---and one that I vow to get into the habit of doing. I’ll let you know how it goes.


  1. Your garden sounds like my idea of paradise. Rambling tropical is my favourite kind of outdoor space! And what a joy it obviously is for you to see these old floral friends reappearing every year.

  2. I've got this BEAUTY of a plant as a houseplant!!! Here in Sweden it's called "China flower" as in china as in dinnerware and teacups. The name comes from describing the shiny, thin and fairly hard texture of the petals. I LOVE when I walk into the room it lives in and before I'm there I know it's in flower because of the heavenly scent preceding it! It must be glorious to live in a jungle garden surrounded by them!!!!!!

    As always, splendid photography and a lovely story!

  3. I just adore your garden. I aspire to have such a lovely garden as yours. To be able to step out your back door to a paradise is what I consider heaven!

  4. Thanks, so much. I do try really hard not to brag and bore everyone too much with photos from our yard. I always did love show-and-tell in school. I actually use to bring plant cuttings from home, when I was a kid, to bring up to the front of the class and show everyone. ha!

    And Kate, wow! You have them too? :-)
    I love that. Having them indoors must be a real treat. I should try that.