Coleus Chatters thru June 29th...

Yukon, OK(Zone 7b)

Good Morning! We came from here

I am just not believing that this month is half over. It does not seem like it's possible at all and I still have so much to do.

I am not a big fan of the Beatles but this song is probably one of my favorite all time songs. I love it so much... it's short & sweet and if you know it, you'll catch the tune and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

There are places i'll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends i still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life i've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When i think of love as something new
Though i know i'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know i'll often stop and think about them
In my life i love you more

Though i know i'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know i'll often stop and think about them
In my life i love you more
In my life i love you more

Coleus Purple Pumpernickel

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Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

Juanita, great Flickr photos, loved it all. I saved it because you had some very nice pot combo ideas!

Taylor Creek, FL(Zone 10a)

Juanita I loved all those pictures and found myself looking at one of your pots in the Marketplace. All were just great.
I have burgandy glow Ajuga and it does so good. It doesn't block weeds as good as I'd hoped but spreads and will eventually cover all I want it to. I also suspect my weeds are more vigorous in these Florida temps.
Here are my new shovels from,44813,56834&ap=1
I am in love.
I got the bulb planter last year and when I thought my 4" wide shovel seemed to have vanished I ordered these two new ones.
The one on the left is a 'weeder'. However I call it a Bikini Shovel.
The one on the right is a 'transplanter'. Mine is my French Shovel.
I have never seen such beautiful shovels.

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Taylor Creek, FL(Zone 10a)

This shovel is soo pretty. Please pardon my fingerprints.

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Beaumont, TX(Zone 8b)

WOW! Those look like they were made BY women, FOR Women! Great find Sidney! I doubt any of those will be coming through Goodwill, but I'll be saving my money for a set of them. The handles look very comfortable for gripping. And those steps!! YEAH!!! Now I've got shovel envy! Color me green at the handles! HAHAHAHA

Arlington, GA(Zone 8a)

Good morning! Helllooooo! wow couplea days huh! everyone must be outside playing.

Brinda, How is X-man doing?

Sidney, Great looking tools. I need to look for some of those.

Joyce, How is school going, And New car don't hold out on us what did you get?

Waving like a wild woman to all of you. have a great day.

Oh and Dale, when is grand opening......

Newport News, VA(Zone 11)

Oh Georgia
I guess nothing is a secret around here ;_) lol

I got a 2008 Honda Element. I wanted something I could haul dirt and plants and dogs in without worrying about getting it dirty. I love it!

The seats fold up and the doors open out but it took Ami (the dog) some time to get used to it. He still goes to the old car whenever we go somewhere and waits there for me to open the door. When I finally got him in it, he had the whole back cargo area to play in but he jumped right in the passenger seat and sat there for the ride, just like in the old smaller car. I guess its true, you cant teach an old dog new tricks :-)

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Newport News, VA(Zone 11)

Stock Pics.

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Arlington, GA(Zone 8a)

oh very Nice , Hmm I wonder if DH will let me trade my toy? LOL

Newport News, VA(Zone 11)

Sure he will! Just tell him its to haul coleus and coleus eats ticks, flies and mosquitoes. lol

Portland, TX(Zone 9a)

Hey Joyce I think that is what my gardening friend has and we plant shop and load plants in the back cargo area and in the seats and on the floor board. What I especially like is that the cargo area and the floorboards are a hard surface not carpet like what I have in my van. It never gets messed up when you do haul plants and they tip over or bags of dirt etc. . . Is that how yours is too?

Very nice!!!!

Newport News, VA(Zone 11)

Yes. Its all rubber matted . When they first came out ( 2004?) they said you could just hose down the inside with your garden hose. They dont recommend this now thou, something about the electrical system. I'm still reading the manual. But it is easy to clean.

Newport News, VA(Zone 11)

Here is a pic of the flooring. The seats also fold up and hang from clips on the side walls to get them out the way or you can just take them out.

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Newport News, VA(Zone 11)

another one with the seat clipped up

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Portland, TX(Zone 9a)

Wow I don't know if my friend's seats do that but that is so cool and perfect for a big plant shopping expedition.

Newport News, VA(Zone 11)

And if I ever become homeless, I can just sleep in it :-)

Woodway, TX(Zone 8a)

Here's a photo of my tilt-a-pot. It's filling in pretty well. It's in blazing sun, so there is a limited number of trailing plants I can use.

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Woodway, TX(Zone 8a)

I should wait until all the caladiums sprout- they're slow this year- but this is my caladium tier this year. There are more reds, but they are slower to sprout and they are shorter so they don't show up as well as the whites.

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Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

beautiful dp72!
What is that dark shrub to the left in your tilt-a-pot picture?

Beaumont, TX(Zone 8b)

WOW! Both look great DP! I love the mixture of caladiums especially. Both of the colors are so intense! They play off of each other beautifully. Connie and I were talking the other day about how red and white flowers compliment each other so well.

Woodway, TX(Zone 8a)

The shrub is actually an ornamental sweet potato Sweet Caroline 'Bewitched.'

Here is an article from the internet about it:

Nurserymen call them “behaved” sweet potatoes because they are a little less kudzu-like than other sweet potatoes. The series was bred to produce short internodes, which results in a more compact plant with shorter leaves and less aggressive growth.

The series boasts several colors and leaf shapes, and some will even display multiple colors on the same plant. There are five colors in what is known as the Sweet Caroline series: green and yellow, red, light green, bronze and purple. They all have deep-lobed leaves.

Then there is the Sweet Caroline Sweetheart cluster that feature heart-shaped leaves. Here you will find three colors: purple, light green and red.

The new selection for this year is called Bewitched. Bewitched is incredibly unique in that it is purplish-black, but it doesn’t fit the typical shape of either the Sweet Caroline or Sweet Caroline Sweetheart. The leaves have many more serrations, giving it an almost maple-leaf look. There is nothing else quite like it.

Ornamental sweet potatoes like fertile, well-drained soil. This usually means amending the bed with 3 to 4 inches of organic matter. Incorporate 2 pounds of a slow-release, 12-6-6 fertilizer per 100 square feet while preparing the bed. Plant nursery-grown transplants at the same depth they are growing in the container, spacing 24 to 48 inches apart, depending on variety.

Give them supplemental water during the long growing season. Flea beetles are known to occasionally make them unsightly, so treat with a recommended insecticide at the first sign of damage. Prune as needed to keep sweet potato vines contained in their allotted space.

In addition to the various leaf shapes and colors in the Sweet Caroline series, I like their ability to really pack a punch in mixed containers and wall planters. I think we have been underutilizing sweet potatoes in this area.

By all means, don’t forget about using them in large hanging baskets. Combine with plants like verbena, lantana, petunias and even tropicals like the mandevilla.

Lime green is still on the hot list of colors, and it seems to combine wonderfully with just about any color of flower you choose.

Sweet potatoes not only partner well with flowers in the landscape, but they also are dynamite with other foliage plants like coleus or iresine. They are unbeatable for cascading over walls.

What could be more Southern than growing sweet potatoes? It’s just that now they have become one of our longest-performing plants in the landscape. Look for them this spring at a local garden center.

Newport News, VA(Zone 11)

Those shovels look too good to use! I'd put those on display! LOL

Taylor Creek, FL(Zone 10a)

Joyce that is the neatest car. I just love the way the seats hang on the wall when not needed. That's the perfect car for a gardener. I also love the way those side doors swing open.
Ami hasn't realized he has a new car yet.
I'm bringing them in after every dig. They are so pretty.

Wow dp you sound like a saleslady.
Mine come back every year and I unearth a potato or two.
The Margarita's potato has really white flesh.
I have about 6 varieties and think they are all naturals with my coleus.
I also love to match a impatient, petal color to a color in the coleus leaves.
A coleus can dictate your whole garden. I think of it much like choosing fabric for a quilt. Some can let you pick several companion plants.
I am doing my stitching this week.
Off to plant what I have on hand and do some coleus cuttings.
Like your tilt a pot.

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Woodway, TX(Zone 8a)

Sugarweed, I'd never make it in sales. That pitch was copied and pasted from a site on the internet. Your shovels are to die for. I need to borrow that narrow one for a couple of days. Could you toss it this way? On second thought, they're too fine looking to USE.

Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

Oh man, I need to find that sweet potato! Thanks for the info.
It is a Proven Selections so maybe I can get a nursery here to order it.

This message was edited Jun 24, 2008 5:14 PM

(Zone 9b)

What a great looking car, JJJ! And your shovel set is fantastic, Sidney!

DP, your house entrance looks so good. I love your caladiums. Now those are so special! I wish I could grow them here. I thought I had found your Bewitched but I just ran out and I see I really have Black Heart. Shoot.

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Woodway, TX(Zone 8a)

Hi, Kell. I like Black Heart very much, but the advantage to the "new" line of s. potato plants is that they don't grow like Topsy. You've probably found out that Marguerite will take over a pot or bed in no time.

I am assuming the nights are too cool there for caladiums to grow? That is one advantage to living where it's hot hot hot, I guess. Do crape myrtles do well there? We can't grow lilacs, so crape myrtles are the 'lilacs of the South.'

No doubt the Sweet Caroline s. potatoes will be more widely available next year and the next. I'd send you some 'Bewitched,' but I don't have any rooted, and unrooted cuttings of s. potatoes are fragile. I doubt they would make it alive.

FLOYD, VA(Zone 6a)


Love that Tilt a Pot. Are they terra cotta?? Doesn't that dry out pretty fast? Did you make that or but it somewhere. I must have missed the thread on that.


Glen Riddle Lima, PA

i love those carolina sweet potato vines too... we have them even at the supermarket plant section here. i was surprised this spring when i cleaned out some larger pots, left neglected in the basement... the vines never completely died and there were cute little potatoes. i planted them up and they are sprouting, so i don't have to buy them again this year.,same thing has happened with my cherry million bells- they either reseed or, in the case of 2 plants in the ground, never died completely and now are lush trailing plants.

Woodway, TX(Zone 8a)

There are instructions somewhere here on Dave's on how to make a Tilt-A-Pot. They used a rebar (?) and drove it into the ground 24 inches or something like that. I knew I'd never be able to do that and get it to stand up straight and it would look stupid- but I happened onto this one that I bought at Ace Hardware for $20. It has a round base that fits perfectly inside a 10 inch pot which keeps the rod at a 90 degree angle to the ground. You can use whatever size pots you want for the rest of it. The drain hole has to be in the center of each pot, so in each photo I've seen they used terra cotta pots and I did too. You can't put a lot of soil in the pots because of the cock-eyed angle that they sit. The rod gets in the way of planting, too. I've gotten by with watering it once a day so far, but the dog days of summer are yet to come. It's a novelty, but I may or may not use it again after this year. You're in an area where you can grow trailing plants that don't work here, and it seems to me trailing plants would look better than upright ones in one of these things. Good luck.

Yukon, OK(Zone 7b)

Good Morning!!!!

Joy, I'm not positive but I don't think million bells set seed. I'm pretty sure that I read they're propagated by cuttings only, maybe that's why they're so high. Lucky you, having them come back for you! I have such a difficult time with them here. If they aren't planted out in the very early spring to get good roots they they just wither and die in the heat. I had many cuttings this year from NCFarms and lost every single one of them. Shoot!!! I'm thinking that next year plugs are the only way to go with million bells.

DP, I really thought that SPV was some kind of hibiscus. That is just beautiful. I notice different kinds of SPV here on & off. I have many different kinds, the green & yellow which I love for it doesn't get so huge. Can you post the website where you got your info? Do they have pics of all the new ones?

Joyce, I love your new car! What color did you get? Is the green one yours? I have a Suburban and when I go plant shopping the people at the nursery are always trying to get me to take plastic or boxes so I don't get the inside of it dirty. Ha... way too late!!! LOL

Sue, once again... it's so nice to have you back with us!!!

Oh Sidney, those shovels are just great! I can see why you love them so much! And the colors are great too... I bet they're easy to see. I need that color on some of my garden tools, maybe I wouldn't spend so much time searching for things.

Juanita, how was your trip?

Janet, I'm thinking of you as I'm painting a couple of pots. I needed some really big pots for a couple of huge hibiscus that I got the other day, so yesterday I went searching for some. I decided that I didn't want to spend tons of moolah on glazed or terra cotta (dry out too fast) so I got some big plastic pots at WalMart for $4.96 each and grabbed a couple of cans of spray paint. So far, so good... they're looking great. I've only finished one as my trigger finger starts hurting. LOL

Pheadra, Xman is doing much better. He had an appointment with the plastic surgeon on Monday and the doctor said everything looked good. He has another appointment today and again on Friday. The doctor said something about taking out every other stitch today, depending on how it looks. He is now back to his rambunctious self. But he can't play outside, play any sports... can't sweat or swim and can't eat with a fork. Other than that... no difference. LOL

Man, what a week!!!!! I got a phone call last Friday from my boss and he gave me MORE WORK! Shoot... I really thought all the testing was over and I was home-free but NOOOOOO! So, after spending so much time with Xander, I'm running behind on my work. I have to have all this work done by Friday which isn't so bad but my daughter and her family will be here tomorrow.

Now that's where the problem comes in!!! LOL She has a son (12) and a daughter (6) and those kids are like having an army of rambunctious and misbehaved kids running through your house. UGH! I love them dearly but after spending a day with them I feel as if a little steel ball is pinging around in my head.

They live in Branson, and my daughter & her husband are going on a Poker Run. They're hauling the motorcycles down here and dropping off the kids and then leaving on the bikes. Certainly doesn't sound like fun to me at all... to each his own, I guess. I'll have the kids from Thursday morning til Friday evening and then I'm taking them to my daughter's dad's house for the weekend. He offered to pick them up but I said, Naaaaa... I'll bring them. That way there can be no excuses. LOL

Kell, here's a pic of the tropical garden. There are many things in there that haven't come up yet so it isn't real full and won't be for another few weeks. There is one spot that's empty right in the center, I had a variegated brug there but it got an overnight mite infestation and looked really bad so I took it out. It's recovering nicely now but I really think that spot gets way too much sun for it so I need to put something else in it's place. You really can't tell from the pic, but there are some small coleus & caladiums planted in the very front along the pavers that will be so pretty in a few weeks. I just love this garden and Braden has taken it over and it's now his memory garden in honor of his best friend's father that was killed in a plane crash a few months ago. We have a plaque but Allan needs to somehow mount it to something that will stick in the ground where the "Welcome" sign is now.

Have a beautiful day everyone.... I'm off to work a bit more and then work a bit more. LOL

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Yukon, OK(Zone 7b)

Have you seen this article from Chele? I think it's great!

Portland, TX(Zone 9a)

Hey Brinda & Sydney --how often do you suppose you ought to hit coleus with fish emulsion? once a week?????

Taylor Creek, FL(Zone 10a)

Yes once a week is good.
Either bottom feed or mist diluted!

Taylor Creek, FL(Zone 10a)

Oh I forgot to say here's a neat deal I participated in.
I'm driving one of the red cars,

This message was edited Jun 25, 2008 10:23 AM

Glen Riddle Lima, PA

Brin i didn't think they set either, but i'm sure mine did, because there were a few pods on the plants. not all plants did, but the cherry ones did. found a thread on gardenweb about it:

the flowers look exactly like the ones on the mother plant, in size and color.

speaking of setting seed,

everytime i go out to "coleus row"- where i plant a double row of different coleus- i find newly germinated coleus seed. i'm so excited to see how they color up and grow. i have a "splashed one" that i replanted, with colors purple and green with a fuschia/red vein.'
gotta get some pics...


Woodway, TX(Zone 8a)

Brinda, you asked about the website for that article on the Sweet Caroline line of s. potato vines. If this doesn't work, let me know. It's from Mississippi State University.

Lodi, CA(Zone 9b)

Brinda... we will see about the million bells.. LOL I might have something to do with that also next year.. :-)

Oh yeah Joyce! I saw a pilot today and was green with envy.. LOL I would love to have one of those.. just perfect!

Sidney.. the shovels are really cool! Which one is your fav?
When I drove truck I lost shovel after shovel till I painted mine hot pink.. never left the truck again!

Wow that driving looks like so much fun! I'm impressed!!

Arlington, GA(Zone 8a)

Don't miss the "waybigopot"
Janet, great article... Congrats!!!!

Northern California, United States(Zone 9a)

Was at a nursery today! Took over 600 pictures, typical for me LOL, well maybe half are labels. It will take me a while to get them uploaded to PlantFiles.

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