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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.

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