musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Return to Flower Power and Playing Hookie

Hey!  Didja miss me yesterday?  I took the day off because. . . . it was my Birthday!!!  I'm back with you again today - no worries:-)  Yes, I had the most loveliest of days, thanks for asking! 

It was a gorgeous day so we spent most of it outside around the patio table in the shade of the umbrella.  I had both kiddos here and Hubster cooked a delicious chicken and shrimp alfredo.  And my presents?  AWESOME - of course!  Can't wait 'til next year.

What I really want to show you are the flower beds!

I know it's kind of hard to tell. . . but they are weed-free (well. . . pretty much) and freshly adorned with some bright flowers and foliage plants.  With so many violas as a 'background' - some brightly colored, interesting plants were most definitely the key to perking the little (weed) patches up!

Remember my 'Flower-Power Hookie Report' when I ran away to Arnold's Greenhouse?  While I was there that day, I signed up to receive their e-newsletters about specials and going-ons and all kinds of blooming stuff. 

Then last week, what to my wondering eyes did appear but a cleverly written story promoting coleus:

"A story about Shopping… Food… Traveling… Coleus

Do your ‘Emotions’ have you ‘Inspired’ to be ‘Playful’, ‘Passionate’, or ‘Sophisticated’ in May? Phone your ‘Redhead’ friend, ‘Trusy Rusty’ and take the ‘Midnight Train’ to ‘Sedona’. This ‘Snazzy’ town has the best shoe stores for finding the perfect sandals for a lady’s ‘Tiny Red Toes’. Make sure you take the ‘Sunset Strip’ and visit the ‘Razzle Dazzle’ chocolate shop for a ‘Chocolate Drop’ or some ‘Dark Chocolate’. And, if you haven’t had enough of a sugar high yet, get a triple dip of ‘Chocolate Mint’, ‘Pineapple Splash’, ‘Grape Expectations’, or ‘Lemon Twist’ ice cream at the homemade ice cream store! If all the ice cream gave you a cold headache, be sure to take a break and have a ‘Mint Mocha’. Make sure you visit the art gallery to see the ‘Electric Lime’ paintings made with ‘Inky Fingers’! Now, with as much fun as you have had, you’ll make your other friend ‘Peter Wonder’ why he didn’t come with you. And, when you’re all through, you can drive home for an ‘Alabama Sunset’… if you live in Alabama, that is.

This story is totally make believe… a fantasy… all the words in single quotations are names of some of our cool Coleus… or Solenostemon, if you want to use the Botanical name. Coleus have all these brightly colored leaves, perfect for mixing into container combos or in flower beds (even though they really aren’t famous for their flowers). Regardless, we have all these varieties, and more (nearly 50 kinds!!) all on sale for only $1.99 per 4.5 round pot (reg. $3.99 per pot)… Any anyone, even ‘Swinging Linda’ or the whole ‘Florida City Micanopy’ can tell you that is a bargain! So, don’t have a ‘Trailing Bleeding Heart’, make your way to Arnold’s Greenhouse anytime Friday, May 21st through Monday, May 31st, 2010for an unbelievable deal on Coleus!! (of course, sale price is good while supplies last.)"

I thought the ad was so cute that I forwarded over to Hubster and looked up some of the coleus to see what they looked like.  I really liked what I saw!  I also learned that they'll come back on their own every year (perennial) in places with a mild winter. . . Not sure that's us. But they make great annuals (have to plant new ones each year) regardless. They do bloom these tiny little purple flowers lined up and down a tall stem. But the flowers aren't really too much to look at when you consider their showy foliage.

I thought a flat of variegated-red varieties of this foliage-y plant would be ideal in my weed flower gardens. Hubster grabbed on to that idea (and me) and we both skipped out of work to 'sneak' to Arnold's a couple days later.  What fun was that!?!?!
Did you know how many-many varieties of coleus there are? Quite a few were named in the 'story' - but it truly didn't prepare us for the vast selection at Arnold's.  These are the ones I came home with:

And Nuclear Fusion and Inky Fingers.  Here are the actual plants waiting (patiently) in my wagon to be planted:

I stopped when my cart was full - but I certainly could have filled a second (and third) cart without trouble. As it was, I came home with some lovely flowery specimans that really perk up my flower gardens. Hubster chose some good ones too. Honestly, there isn't a bad plant, tree, flower, herb, vegetable, perennial, annual, or anything, in the bunch!

I also brought home some white astilbe (a tall plant with slim feathery-like flowers), Wood  Spurge (funniest little round flowers on these woody stems that'll turn red come fall), "Rocket Cherry" snapdragons, a pretty thin-stemmed, tall plant with these tiny little flowers called Snow Fountain" and some "Heaven Scent" Nicotiana.  Those all are perennial - or should reseed themselves so I should see them in waving at me from the flower gardens again next year!

The great selection of plants, and a bit of a plan, left me motivated to spend most of my weekend outside working in the yard.  It was hot and quite windy - but oh! It was wonderful to be weeding and planting in the flower gardens!  And I really feel like I got an awful lot accomplished.  Makes me smile now every time I look out my second-floor office window.
Have a Blooming kind of day ~
Robin Z

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