Scarlet Runner Beans and Cardinal Climber Vines, Unique Flowers and Beautiful Shades of Bright Red


My husband, Tim, also a horticulturist, has always been fascinated with the Cardinal Climber Vine, the pentagonal shaped flower with an embossed star shape of sorts shown sitting in the palm of my hand in the photo on the above left.

I have always been intrigued by the beautiful red Scarlet Runner Bean, above right. This year, Tim, who is so awesome at remembering to plant seeds, got them planted by our front porch step this spring!

Now that I have seen these plants in action, I love them even more! Each flower shape is so unique and intricately detailed! I cannot fathom how such small flowers, each smaller than a quarter, can house such fascinating floral architecture! They are truly miraculous specimens to behold! Especially, if you stop for a moment, to examine them up close, and even dissect them.

I hope to one day, get my hands on a macro lens, so that I can capture the intricate details of flowers. Until then, you’ll just have to plant some yourself, or take my word for it!

Both of these vine type plants can be started from seed, and sown directly into the ground once the soil warms up in the spring. If you are living in the midwest, mid to late May would be a safe bet.

We used some wood blocks, and twine spaced evenly along the block, so that each side of our porch had about 6 strings spaced about 6 inches apart going from the ground up to the balcony above.

The vines quickly germinate, and once the heat and humidity take hold, they grow very quickly, especially, if you water the soil around them regularly.

Keep the soil evenly moist until they germinate, and then once they sprout, water every few days, if rain is not in the near forecast.

I almost lost mine, during extreme heat and drought, but luckily, a good drink of water revived them!

How to Root Coleus


Ahhhh, the Coleus….with it’s beautiful, vibrant color combinations, and intricately shaped leaf edgings, it’s no wonder we all wish they could last forever!

If you live in an area that freezes, you know that your coleus plants will not likely make it through the winter outside.  One way to preserve them, would be to build a greenhouse, and heat it all winter, to maintain the tropical climate, that Coleus Plants love.

Not many of us have that kind of cash laying around, so another way to enjoy Coleus a little longer, is to take cuttings and root them.  Coleus stems make beautiful, long lasting accents to end of summer bouquets.  As an added bonus, if you change the water in the vase once or twice a week, you might even get your Coleus stems to take root!

Down below, is a video demonstration that shows where to cut the stems, and what to do with them to get them to take root!  Hope you enjoy!

Work


As I enjoy these last few weeks in my garden, I am reminded of this poem I wrote in 2013. Much has changed in my life since then, but the way I enjoy my flowers the most at this stage in the season, remains unchanged.

Hope you enjoy the little floral photo shoot I did this morning instead of organizing my house after a few busy weeks here at casa de Stephens!  How can one not ignore chores when there is such beauty to behold right at her fingertips?

I was so excited to see my 4’Oclocks, blooming!  They are the Morning Glory shaped flowers that are blue with the yellow and white throat pictured below.

I started them late, like, in June or later, from seed, and they had a rough beginning, and were almost devoured by caterpillars, suffered drought, extreme heat, and neglect while we were on vacation, but they persevered!  So excited to see these colors together!

Gardenshapers

©Marie Stephens 2014  All rights reserved. ©Marie Stephens 2014 All rights reserved.

Work

Always behind

Never caught up

The more work you get done.

The more work you make up.

Weeding

Planting

Staking

Baking

Picking

Pinching

Seeding

Raking

Where did the time go?

Where was it spent?

Tree leaves are falling

On my cement.

Zinnias are gorgeous.

Morning Glories are glorious

One Glory survived,

Now we’re victorious!

The one that survived

and beat all the odds:

Vine chewing rabbits

Seed eating birds

Sprout stomping dogs

My childrens’ feet

Not one of these were able to defeat.

Could not defeat this defiant Morning Glory

This lovely blue flower

That gives me satisfaction and power.

The power to see

That all this work:

The planting

The waiting

The rejuvenating

The digging

The pinching

The pruning

The trimming

Replanting

Reseeding

Removing

Repeating

That all this work is never done.

That all this work can be quite fun

That all…

View original post 125 more words