Monthly Archives: August 2012


Solenostemon – scutellariodes, WoW! All that with such a small common name; coleus. These beautiful shade loving annual plants come in  so many color combinations and leaf shapes and sizes, that I couldn’t imagine not planting at least a few to bring new life to a shady spot.

Coleus make good house plants as well. As a child I remember gramma’s basement windows filled with cuttings of her favorites from her garden, some were potted while others where in canning jars filled with water with coleus stem cuttings rooting and I recall thinking how it looked like a science experiment.

I love playing around with the colors, there are so many new combinations today. Let me share with you what I’m talking about; there are lots of new series and all have great names like,

Fairway, these are well branched plants with dwarf habits with vivid foliage colors of orange, red rose and ruby.

Henna, highly serrated leaves with chartreuse and copper tones. Love this one.

Kong, large foliage with great color and mound forming great for the garden where lots of color is needed.

Wizard, extremely dwarf and compact and some of these were bred to tolerate full sun. Their names are fun too, like Freckles,Kingswood torch and Wizard Sun. These are great in window boxes and mixed planters.

Solenostemon, scutellarioides – coleus is a genus of 60 species from tropical Africa and Asia. They are frost tender plants and require moist conditions and protection from the hot sun, they prefer humus rich soil that drains well. Also remember to pick back the flowers and new growth tips to promote fullness.

Here in the Shire I have them in many shades of color combinations corals and chartreuse and salmon in Fern Walk, to multi color combinations in the Fairy Garden, then I use the larger varieties in our Seasons Border’s large pots that we change out to mid summer, these four pots get changed to a new look with each season and I always enjoy this time.

There is something about a garden that is full of color, every time I walk in or tend to the garden I awaken the energies that are in and around me, like I’m summing a great spiritual awareness, the colors are transcending and as my plants grow so do I with the feeling of believing, in new growth and what better feeling is there, but that of renewal in the wholeness of self.

A thought; From the soul to the heart, from the heart through the hands, the gardener tends to heaven on earth.

Well its mid August, I can’t believe it’s that time already where does the time go? We’ve gotten some good days of rain and the hose doesn’t move much now and I enjoy that. The Angel garden is coming along nicely. The Column Garden golden hops are in full bloom and the espalier Cotoneaster on the fence here is full of green berries that will turn red soon  and with the golden hops and that show of red, well I can’t wait. The fairy garden is a cooler garden and the flowers here stay a little longer, my grandson Colton has come for a visit and has discovered this spot and loves looking everywhere, because there is so much to see here. The Blue and White Border isn’t doing that well I’ve lost most of the Impatiens do to heat and disease( downy mildew ) and the sky blue petunias are OK but became a lot of work as the season’s heat came on. The Four Seasons Border has been wonderful there is always something to see as you walk with that border. The rains have added more water to the Frog Pond and this helps to cool the water a little, creating newness to the pond and garden around the pond. Oak Grove is showing signs that early Fall is soon to arrive here and the crickets are singing away. The late summer anemones are starting their show and the vegetables are all but in from the terrace gardens pots. The potatoes we pot planted did very well and have proven to be a great space-saving and easy harvest. Will do more next year.

I purchased many types of begonias this year for pots that are all around in the garden and sitting areas, this has given the garden a magical feeling and they are just so beautiful as you walk throughout the garden. So I plan to write about these beauties soon. They make for a great show when you need one.

I’ve also decided to add a fire pit to the Shire for the cooler evenings to come and after all the late summer is here and the days grow shorter now. As the year grows older it reminds me to remember that a gardeners work is never done, that with each season comes new challenges. So I will take time now to listen to the crickets a little longer, stair a bit longer at the summer sun sets and enjoy the green that cools me on late hot summer days and will believe that every moment I spend in the garden will strengthen my beliefs.

A thought; The fires in life, gives newness to life…….

A moment of beauty, is all I can say about this old favorite of the garden. Part of my morning walk through the Shire is the picking of the spent flowers of the previous days bloom and counting the buds left and calculating how many more days of beauty I can anticipate.

We have Hemeroallis ( Day Lilies ) everywhere, having collected them over the years from old gardens and newer varieties from nurseries and gardening friends and at last count around 50 or so types or colors.

When I think of Day Lilies so many memories flood my mind of days of my youth at my family home of the swing in the 200-year-old black walnut tree surrounded by thousands of  orange trumpets and trying to see how high over them I could swing or the view of the bar gate surrounded in lemon trumpets that welcome me to my walk in the meadows beyond. Gramma always told me to remember the day lily because it is the symbol of how momentary thing really are in life and that we should cherish such moments.

Flowers bring such fullness to my life, with their beauty and fragrance with the ability to surprise me each day with new views and thoughts!!!!!!

A genus of about 13 to 15 species of evergreen and herbaceous perennials from which over 50,000 named cultivators have been raised. From tall and wild to clumped and tamed and to dwarf and petite.

Grown in fertile, moist well-drained soils and most love full sun, they will tolerate some shade but bloom will be few. The thing to remember about day lilies is that their bloom will follow the sun so plant them so that their trumpets will face you in the garden, you wouldn’t want them to turn their backs to you. Many of them are marathon bloomers and will go far into the fall, some are fragrant and all are somewhat care free and easy to grow.

Hemerocallis, is the family of liliaceae and the break down of this name is Creek, ‘ hemera ‘ ( day ) and ‘ kallos ‘ ( beauty ) this plant was named by Carl Linnaeus the man who brought all the botanicals together under one language. So the day lily or Twain lily or lemon lily all groups to which he applied specific names by color of flower which was a rare thing for him, so he must have been enamored by them.  Now you know a little bit more about day lilies.

Some of my fave’s;

Hemerocallis, ” Cat’s Cradle ” – spider-like flower with rich yellow flair.

H. ” fulva ” Flore Pleno” – orange – gold double that follows the sun like colors.

H. ” White Temptation ” – nothing more to say about this beauty, loving it!

H. ” Strawberry Candy ” – yum, with its deep pink whirls around it’s so soft pink.

H. ” Millie Schlumf ” – so soft is this peachy beauty, makes me think of peach bud candy’s gramma’s favorites.

H. ” Scarlet Orbit ” – This is red-hot a must have for that touch of red we all look for.

To learn more about Day lilies go to and and enjoy!

Also check out this site; if you love or think you love day lilies you’ll know it after this visit.

I’m a day lily sicko, that’s right I’ll admit I just can’t stop planting them. So what, there always some in bloom throughout the season in the Shire and this triumph is worth it.

A thought; What a gift each day can be, with a belief that there will be another.