Monday, September 2, 2013

Extending Summer—Propagating Summer Plants

Goodbye, August…you were lovely this year, and I really, really didn’t want you to go. But September came rolling by with no regard for my wishes, knowing that I’ll eventually fall in love with her too. It will take a while; I hope she’s patient with me.

We have an old, chippy green shutter in our screened porch that’s been a perfect corner backdrop for potted plants. I have no memory of having bought it; it’s as though it’s been with us forever, and I’ve always loved it and have been glad we brought it home whenever it was that we did.  It has served us well~~

~~but for several years now I’ve wanted to add some plants to the upper part of the shutter itself…thinking…thinking…thinking… Small pots? Probably too heavy (and leaky). Those metal pots with the hook built into them? Maybe…but not quite clicking with me…thinking…thinking…Pinterest-ing…thinking, while at the same time bemoaning the waning days of summer. Eureka! A picture on Pinterest of a Ball jar used by a teacher to store chalk! (

Picture a big, bright light bulb right over my  head—BIG AND BRIGHT. I have been positively enthralled with our geraniums this year (you can see close-ups of them HERE), and our coleuses have gone wild. Strong, and tall, and healthy. (I love coleuses because my grandmother loved them—they always remind me of her.) I had started to root some of the coleus, just because, and my thinking paid off! Hang Ball mason jars from the shutter and root them there! Voila—a way to root them AND add color and texture and interest to the upper part of the shutter!

DSCN8224 I wrapped twine around the ridges of the jars, starting with a loop from which to hang them, added water, added cuttings, and I was pleased.


DSCN8278 If you look real hard you can see the loop on each jar, hung with a S hook to the wire that just so happened to be in the perfect place (I wonder why it’s there?! It’s rusted and beautiful, so it’s been there a long, long time).


DSCN8447 And now, be forewarned…the light and shadow play and reflections were just perfect on the days that I photographed them, so LOTS AND LOTS of pictures, to share how much I enjoyed taking these pictures.










And this is Miss Calliope Dark Red…I hope to winterize the plant too, but rooting cuttings are a bit of a back-up plan. I’ve heard of just taking the plants to the basement and not watering them much, but haven’t researched it much, so any tips would be very, very welcome!

DSCN8437 This one has no tag, so I named it `Brushstrokes,’ because if you looked at it in my Porch in the Rain post linked above, you’ll know why. Each petal looks like it has a brushstroke of white on it. B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L.

Can you tell how happy I am with my “rooting jars”?

TWO perfect solutions in one!

So are you ready for fall, or are you extending summer as much as you can? And have you been successful in overwintering plants in cold climates (Ohio, in my case). Call to all gardeners out there: Your advice is needed!

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you’ll leave me a comment to let me know you were here—I read every single one of them! And if you like what you see a lot, maybe you’d like to Google+ this post or pin it on Pinterest too! Thank you!

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From my nest to yours~



  1. Such a great idea and a wonderful vignette to boot! Your pictures are fantastic. Each one is special. I have heard of keeping geraniums over as dry roots as you mentioned. My sweet MIL did that. Let know how it works.
    Love to all, Ginger

  2. Zuni, that was a clever idea with your shutter! My mother loved coleus, too - Manto, as she used to call it. I am hanging on to summer as long as I can. Grant you, it's pretty to see the leaves change color, and I do look forward to Honey Crisp apples showing up in the market, but I just can't stop thinking about what lies ahead. If I could have Autumn, then winter until December 31, I think I would enjoy the fall more. I just do not like the loooong winter! I am going to try to adopt your attitude and try to fall in love with the coming Autumn season.

  3. This is such a clever idea! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I wish I had a green thumb!! What a super idea!

  5. This is so smart! I love how you used your green shutter too! I wonder if you join me for Fresh-Cut Friday? This would be a wonderful addition!


  6. Hola Zuni,
    Veo que entiendes Español, y me da alegria pues es mi lengua materna. Me da mucho gusto que hayas visitado mi blog porque asi tambien he llegado al tuyo. Tienes un blog fantastico, y me encanta el uso que le has dado a tu postigo (shutter, ademas en ese color se ve genial. Me encanta la idea de los frascos y los coleus y hacer nuevas raices en ellos, cuanto tiempo tardan en crecer las raices?
    Me gusta el nombre de tu blog y la razon por la cual le pusiste ese nombre. Yo suelo llamar a mis hijas palomitas, que por cierto ya tambien volaron del nido para ir a la universidad, asi que mi nido esta vacio pero sigue lleno de amor. Desde hoy te sigo, me da mucho gusto conocerte, besos

  7. Hi! I just have to let you know the quickest blog visit, inspiration and making inspiration a reality just happened during the past couple minutes because of this post! I just found your blog less than 5 minutes ago, saw this post and realized I could save branches of my begonia that broke off on Wednesday! I ran to get the branches (still laying in the pot), got 2 glass bottles, filled them with water and stuck the begonia branches in them and now they're happily sitting on my widow sill thanks to you! Thanks so much and of course now I'm a new follower! Please stop by my blog if you get a moment!

  8. Well who knew that getting some starts going could be so pretty!? It all looks lovely! Thank you for sharing at TTF.

  9. Yes I can! What a terrific idea - they look marvelous on the shutter - I need to get out to start propagating plants for next year - inspiring post! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,


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