Monday, July 26, 2010

constant color

This is the time of year that is rather the doldrums in the garden.  My lilies are nearly done, after putting on
big shows daily for the last few weeks.  I don't have much planted in the way of cutting flowers, and the clematis are on the other side of their blooming time.  Even the exuberant black eyed susan vine is wearing out, and looks to need a little fish food.  The dahlias are lovely, despite constant attack from slugs.  Luckily, they only like the leaves, and the blooms are spared.

But there are some old reliables, that you can always count on to give you color throughout the season.  Impatiens will never let you down, and coleus will reward you with stunning color all the way through to frost.

Did you know that it is unbelievably easy to propagate coleus?  Just one thing I learned on my garden tour a couple of weeks ago.  Of course, this is probably something most people already know, and I missed the boat, but I am on board now!  All you need to do is snip them on the stalk, just above where new leaves are coming out, and STICK THEM IN SOME DIRT.  I have been doing that now, in windowboxes, pots, and even in the ground, and it's amazing!  You can double your coleus presence in no time.

I have mentioned before that coleus always bring to mind my sweet Great  Grandma Ethel-as she always had them growing in her yard.  (I am always coming up with new reasons as to why they are celebrating in this picture.  Maybe it was the day the kids went back to school?)
At the time, I thought coleus were old fashioned and boring, and I much preferred all of the flowers she grew in her cutting garden.   I would fashion them into bouquets, and make daisy chains.  The garden thoughts of a ten year old...

 But as an adult gardener, I have a new found appreciation for this plant.  They require little care, other then pinching off blooms when they show up, and reward you with a colorful show for months.  And there aren't many other plants that will propagate so easily.  It's not too late to plant some of your own, they would bring fabulous color to your fall pots and windowboxes!


  1. I don't know why I hardly ever plant them. But now, I think I will pick some up this weekend and add some color. Beautiful!

  2. I hardly plant them either, but need to start. Okay, the "kids going back to school" just cracked me right up as the reason for that picture. Oh how I can relate. Pass the bottle.


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