Looking Good

Begonia, "Arabian Sunset"

Begonia, “Arabian Sunset”

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I want to join Eliza, who is participating in a new Friday meme begun this week by Gillian at  Country Gardens UK  called “Looking Good.”  Gillian invites us to celebrate what is looking good this week in our own gardens.  Gillian takes a close look at wild roses, blackberries and other berry producing plants at their peak now in the hedgerows around her garden this week.  Her photos are stunning.

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Begonia Rex

Begonia Rex

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Admiring what is doing well in one’s garden is a happy way to end each week, and I will join in on Fridays as often as I’m able.  If you want to join Gillian’s meme, please be on time.  She plans to close her link at noon Saturday Greenwich time.

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Oxalis has proven one of my favorites this season. It takes sun or shade, has lovely leaves and flowers, and roots very easily in water. The bag of little tubers proved a good investment.

Oxalis has proven one of my favorites this season. It takes sun or shade, has lovely leaves and flowers, and roots very easily in water. The bag of little tubers proved a good investment.

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First thing this morning, I spent a few minutes admiring a few of our dark leaved plants on our deck.  Our cat joined me in the early morning mist with my camera.  The beautiful Coleus is now mostly gone, thanks to a determined squirrel who has made destroying it his project lately.  But he hasn’t touched the ornamental peppers.  Our cat has given us the alert to his presence several times so we could chase the squirrel back into the surrounding trees.

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September 25, 20015 foliage 009

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Anna, at Flutter and Hum, and I both are drawn to dark, jewel tones in flowers, leaves, and berries.  She wrote to give me the name of a Colocasia she photographed for a post about her more dramatic plants, and it reminded me to savor my own.  Reading her post again, and seeing her Colocasia  ‘Black Coral,’ inspired me to take this series of photos.

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Ajuga

Ajuga

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A bit of our dark leaved sweet potato vine is left, and looked especially nice after early morning showers.

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Sweet potato vine has wonderful dark leaves. It looked much better on Monday before the squirrel began destroying it.

This ornamental sweet potato vine has wonderful dark leaves. It looked much better on Monday before the squirrel began destroying it.

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My favorite dark leaved Begonia now has a name.  A helpful reader, who goes by “DS,”  told me this morning it is called Begonia, “Arabian Sunset.”  A very evocative name, don’t you think?  We have thoroughly enjoyed its dark red leaves which grow even darker and glossier with sun.

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September 25, 20015 foliage 012~

A simple bit of Tradescantia pallida  given to us a few years ago by a friend has saved a hanging basket this summer.  The original Petunia met an untimely end by early August.  But rooted cuttings of the Tradescantia took hold in this  hot, dry spot. 

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Tradescantia

Tradescantia

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This is one tough plant and has thrived in all the places I’ve stuck cuttings into Earth.

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September 25, 20015 foliage 020

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I am always drawn more to interesting foliage than to flowers.  And this year I was delighted with several seedlings from last year’s ornamental peppers which cropped up in pots on the deck.

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September 25, 20015 foliage 003~

They worked beautifully with plants I had already planted this spring in the pots.  What a bonus!  Now their tiny flowers are giving way to little pepper fruits.

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A volunteer pepper came up in the same pot with a volunteer Petunia. Last summer's beauty lives on!

A volunteer pepper came up in the same pot with a volunteer Petunia. Last summer’s beauty lives on!

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This is a lovely way to ease into the change of seasons.  We still have several weeks left to enjoy these beautiful foliage plants.

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September 25, 20015 foliage 016~

Woodland Gnome 2015

 

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

15 responses to “Looking Good

  1. Love the begonias! The tall angel wing ones are really growing on me lately 🙂
    I think I have the same pepper, with the black chilies and dark leaves. Nice that yours seeded out on their own, mine had had to be pampered for weeks under lights indoors… much less fun that way!

    • Thank you 😉 I wonder sometimes if seeds do better when left to their own way out of doors. I’ve pampered my share indoors, losing many, and finding the ones sprouting randomly in a pot so much stronger and healthier. Ironic, isn’t it? Let those Angel Wings grow on you! They are a joy, and easy to grow!

  2. Oh, so gorgeous! All those dark-leaved plants have me in raptures. The ornamental pepper is esp. pretty and you have such success with begonias, which I’ve always admired. Seeing your oxalis reminds me I need to dig up to bring inside a plant a friend gave me this spring.
    It has been unusually mild this month, but I know that can and will change any day now. Frost used to come in late Sept. but the past few years it has been many weeks later. I think last year was Oct. 22. A whole month difference. Same in spring. Climate change has given us about 6-8 weeks longer a growing season, but it still makes me uneasy. Can’t trust it in my bones. 😉

    • I’m with you, Eliza; don’t trust it! Seems we are cooling this year earlier than usual. But then, a Nor’easter will make you feel that way. Now that we’ve had a good rain, I’m in the mind to go out and dig again. I’ve put off so many things waiting for favorable weather! I think the plants need every day possible outside to soak in the sun and fresh air. You’ll have a few days warning before a frost, Eliza, and you’ll know ‘in your bones’ when its coming! I just purchased a bag of hardy Cyclamen bulbs and Arum tubers today! I”m so excited to get them planted at least into pots tomorrow. We came home from the bulb shop with a bag filled with treasures. I’m glad you enjoyed our dark beauties! Hugs, WG

  3. Darn those squirrels, huh? That sweet potato vine is lovely. I just saw it for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and bought a couple for a Halloween pot I’m planning. How do you root the Tradescanthia? Do you just let them root in water? I have one in a vase in my kitchen window, but it’s been there for a while, and doesn’t seem to be doing much. Any advice you have would be welcome – it is such a cool plant!

    • Dear Anna, That vine will be gorgeous in a Halloween pot! One year I planted a whole big area in mixed black and orange Violas for October. It looked great most of the winter. I’d interplanted with Galanthus bulbs, which gave a great effect in early spring.
      I actually cut that Tradescanthia for foliage in flower arrangements. I had hoped it would root, but it didn’t show much root growth and so I finally just plunked it into the hanging basket. It roots very well in moist soil. Never a wilted leaf and it soon just took off! Add a little hormone powder if you want extra insurance, but I save mine for Begonia cuttings! Wouldn’t the Tradescanthia and the dark sweet potato vine look great together! Maybe add one of those psychedelic ornamental peppers for a little height? Good luck- WG

  4. Pingback: Looking Good 25th September | Country Garden UK

  5. Thanks very much for linking up with Country Garden UK. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and thanks for your lovely comments. I’m planning to run this event every Friday and I would be delighted if you could join in again to share your experience and knowledge.

  6. Beautiful always, even with squirrels!

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