Tag Archive | coleus

Cuttings In Blue Bottles

blue

I just love plants that make more plants! If they reseed for me, or they root easily from cuttings, I’m thrilled with them. Mostly. There ARE a few that carry the whole “making more plants” thing to extremes, and I get pretty sick of those. But for the most part, it’s a happy benefit of gardening, and a way to fill up empty beds without constantly putting out more money. And sometimes, it even looks pretty in the process.

I have a longish, narrow window above my computer, and I’ve had different things on display there over the years, but today, I gathered up some of my collection of cobalt bottles, and filled them with cuttings in water. Mostly coleus, but a bit of ivy, and some scutellaria (purple skullcap), too. Most will root, though sometimes, you have to try again. In the meantime, they look bright and cheerful, and I’m happy to have more plants inside. Fingers crossed that the cats don’t decide to jump up there and check them out. 🙂

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What Happens When . . .

. . . you stay indoors, glued to your computer, busy writing a book and ignoring your garden? Well. Disaster, if you love a beautiful garden as much as I do. Oh, my! Beggar’s ticks as high as my head, roses with only 6 leaves left on the plant, coleus that look like they’ve been crawling across the burning sands of the Sahara for weeks. Just a hot mess, in general. My poor, poor back yard! 

The good news is, it was too hot to work outside anyway, so staying inside and working on my book was probably a smarter choice. (And by the way, for those who enjoy romantic suspense, Wake-Robin Ridge will be available to download FREE all day tomorrow, 9/6, thanks to Kindle Select!) The bad news is, I’m going to have to spend weeks weeding, cutting back, digging up, tossing out, and starting over. With the wicked, wicked heat we’ve had this summer, scenes like this are a thing of the past.

Belinda's Dream Rose

But have no fear. Even though it is still in the mid-to-high 90’s every day around here, the evenings are cooling down, finally, and that means temps overall will start becoming more bearable. Which,  in turn, means I can start working outside, at least in the mornings, and get things cleaned up a good bit.  

Afternoons will be spent marketing my new book and working on my book of poetry, Summer Magic. But I can do a LOT in the morning, if I get going early enough. If I prune and feed, the roses will spring back to life again, and moving the coleus into the shade and watering more regularly will probably have them looking good soon, as well. 

One interesting tidbit. Like most Florida yards, we have a plethora of lizards in ours. Tons of the invasive Cuban brown anole, and a few determined green Carolina anoles are racing around everywhere. But this week, I spotted an Indo-Pacific gecko on my back porch. He’s very sweet looking, with smoother skin than the regular lizards and huge, googly night-vision eyes. I’ll try to get a picture of him to post here.  Of course, geckos are not native to Florida, but as far as I know, they are not that common, especially in central Florida. Unlike the hideously invasive Cuban tree frogs, I’ve only ever seen one or two anywhere in the area. (This doesn’t mean that they will never become a problem, of course, but I don’t think they are right now. And so far, I like mine.)

I’m really looking forward to getting some work done outside this weekend, and to getting caught up again on all of my blogs. Writing a book is fantastic, but it is an enormous time-suck that pretty much swallows everything else in your life in one huge gulp. I’m going to plan my hours better when I start my next one! 😀

So tell me, what’s blooming in your garden this late in the year?

Bits & Pieces

 

crispa1

Clematis crispa

Just a couple of pictures from my bedraggled, weedy, overgrown and now soaking wet, garden.  The photo above is a native clematis that I just adore. Yes, I know the bloom is tiny, and pretty tame when you compare it to the cultivated varieties you can grow in the north, like this:

clematis

 

Or this:

clematis_dr_ruppel

Or even this:

clematis etoile violette

But it is dainty, and sweetly shaped, and just look at how those raindrops hang from the tips of the “petals!” I’m sorry the picture isn’t sharper, but it was raining, and I was rushing a bit. 

crispa2

Last month, I replaced my hanging baskets in my front bed. I didn’t want to pay $25 or more for established hanging baskets, so I bought six 99 cent plants and made my own. Each basket got a Dipt In Wine coleus, a bright red New Guinea impatiens, and a Margarita sweet potato vine. They started out looking like this:

basket2

And three weeks later, they look like this:

basket

Not bad for $3.00 worth of plants, eh? And I fully expect them to get much larger before summer is over.

And finally, I was all excited a few weeks ago when I found a really cool blue planter to put my coral “drift” rose in. I’m happy to report, it is thriving, and is on its second round of blooms. I’m still loving both the planter and the rose. And the Purple Showers ruellia behind it has begun to bloom again, after I cut it back severely in May. Tomorrow, maybe I can get a good picture of my little chaste tree, which has started to bloom nicely. 

blue planter

You’ll notice I’m only taking close up shots, here. A wide-angle view of what’s going on out there would make you run screaming! Ha. But I can only do so much in a day, and my days are pretty well booked right now, until I finish my novel. (Get it? Booked??? Oh, ha, ha, ha. Sometimes I crack myself up! *snort*)  So, that’s about it for Granny’s Garden right now. What’s new in  YOUR yard?