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Archive for November, 2012

Foto Friday

Michele Buderniak added this photo from her back yard in late Fall.

Foto Friday is back.  It is good to have activity again on the Blog. Don’t be shy and send me your photos to post.   I want to thank Sue for all she did on our Blog and wish her the best.  Here are some photos that Diane took at the Demo Gardens.  For the next few Fridays I will post a few from the selection she gave me.  The gardens are in great shape.  Thank you volunteers, super job!  It’s Fall, but we still have blooms.  

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The Fall banquet for the Monroe County Master Gardener Association was a great success.  It sure seemed everyone enjoyed themselves.  Naida sent me some photos and I took a few for us to enjoy.  If anyone is camera shy, let me know.  I’m hoping no one minds showing how we enjoyed ourselves and what a great group we have in Monroe County.   I couldn’t say anything more than what Naida wrote in her e-mail:  “Cudos to the committees who selected the gifts, set up the tables, cleaned up after and all efforts done behind the scenes.  I thought the table centerpieces were beautiful, food – as usual was excellent, and it was so good to have Bob Bricault visit and have him share with our group what his family has gone through in the aftermath of the Dexter tornado.”  Well put Naida.  Winnie also expressed  how nice it was to see Olga there.   Everyone, have a great Holiday season and see you at the meeting in January.

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Our feature for the month, shown in the header photo is Coleus (Solenostemon).  The colorful foliage and unusual shapes are the main reason most people add this plant to their gardens.  It likes moist rich soil, and can survive in shade or sun. The same variety may appear enhanced, or a particular color will become a stronger element of that same plant when in a different lighting situation.  It’s fun to experiment with cuttings from a plant and see the changes it makes when placed elsewhere in the garden.   In Michigan, we consider it an annual.  However, it is a perennial plant in native tropical Africa, Asia and Australia.  New cultivars with many varieties of colorful foliage have been recently introduced.  Propagation may be done by seed or cutting.  Cuttings seem to propagate fast if kept in moist soil and you can easily transplant them in a short time.  They also root well in water, even without rooting hormones.  It sometimes is susceptible to downy mildew, which appears on the foliage making it look dirty, twisted or curled.  Another disease, that you may find is impatiens necrotic spot virus which is spread by thrips.  Generally, it is an easy plant to grow and offers color without bloom.  It will produce a flower at the top of the leaves, which is usually small in size and purple in color.  The flower is no way as beautiful as the foliage.  Pinching it off will encourage added foliage.     Many a coleus has enriched my garden and I’ve included some of the photos in this slide show.  Please enjoy and  plan a spot now for this plant in your garden.   It’s definitely the workhorse in my garden. 

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