S is for Setcreasea

Found this plant at the garden center last summer: Setcreasea pallida ‘Purple Heart.’ Looked good in the pot next to Dusty Miller and the bright orange begonias. This was the first day that we planted it at home.

Setcreasea purple, dusty Miller, begonias

One day the plants were visited by a praying mantis. I was so excited! Finally, something to help control the aphids!

Praying mantis on orange begonia

The little pink flowers last maybe half a day. Sometimes only a few hours.

Setcreasea purple, begonias, Dusty Miller, basil, container garden

Later in the summer, everything was growing over the sides of the pot.

Setcreasea purple, begonias, Dusty Miller, container garden

At the end of the summer, I had to cut it back before I attempted to bring it in for the winter. These cuttings lasted for a couple weeks in the vase. This was surprising because they seemed delicate and I had assumed they would wilt quickly.
Purple leaves setcresea
Now, I’m not sure if the plants are still alive. I think they are, but I won’t be sure until it’s warm enough to put them back outside. During the winter, the leaves turned green, which I read was normal when they don’t get enough sunlight. Many parts of the plants have died off, but I think there are still a few vines of life clinging to the pot. Time will tell.

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I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

A to Z Challenge badge

Roses in Sunshine 4

Roses in sunshine with drama filter

This is the fourth and final edit of the roses. I didn’t notice what was happening with the sky until I was playing with some of the darker filters. I think it brings out some interesting features in the sky as well as the petals.

I joined the One Four Challenge, in which participants show four different edits of the same photo over four weeks. Alternatively, you can decide to take four versions of the image at the time of shooting.

Here is the third edit of my photo of the roses.

Roses in sunshine edit 3 vintage je t'aime

The second week’s is here.

Roses in monochrome

And this is the original.

Roses and bud in sunshine

Roses in Sunshine 3

Roses in sunshine edit 3 vintage je t'aime

Here is the third edit of my photo of the roses. I joined the One Four Challenge, in which participants show four different edits of the same photo over four weeks. Alternatively, you can decide to take four versions of the image at the time of shooting.

Last week’s is here.

Roses in monochrome

And this is the original.

Roses and bud in sunshine

All That Remains

Shadow of ranunculus flower

My springtime friend, lovely ranunculus. Even your shadow was enticing. But not just to my camera and me, to the aphids as well.

I didn’t know it was happening until it was too late. There was no hope of undoing what had so swiftly taken place. Your second bud would never know the warm sun on its open face.

I looked at you, but I did not see. I gave you water but not what you really needed. I brought you home, and I let you down.

Now all that remains is a shadow of a memory.

Roses in Sunshine 2

Roses in monochrome

This is a different edit of a photo that I posted last week. After seeing Cee’s intriguing shots, I was inspired to join the One Four Challenge, in which participants show four different edits of the same photo over four weeks. Alternatively, you can decide to take four versions of the image at the time of shooting.

Here is the original below, which I posted last week. Funny thing is that I had also made several other edits to this image last week, with the intention of posting the alternate versions when I got around to it. So this challenge is the perfect motivation.

Roses and bud in sunshine
original image

My First Home-Grown Okra

Okra and tomatoes on the counter
I was happy to pick my first okra pod! The seeds were an experiment this year, and a happy surprise because I didn’t think they would do well in a container.

I also picked a bunch of cherry tomatoes (which are actually the size of blueberries) and some green zebras.

Yellow okra flower
The okra flower was very pretty, but only lasted a day.

Okra pod growing
This was the growth the next day.

I missed photos of days 2 and 3, and I picked it on day 4.

There are always ups and downs in gardening, and this one of this year’s high points for sure.

Photo Challenge: Close Up–Container Garden Finds

Green Cherry tomatoes and flowersFrom the ittiest, bittiest cherry tomatoes (some smaller than a peppercorn at this point)
Dusty Miller monochromeTo the soft and mysterious Dusty Miller

Okra flower bud
I haven’t tried to grow okra before, just picked up the seeds on a whim this spring.

To the beginnings of an okra flower, these are busy days in the little balcony garden.

Things change in a matter of hours: tomatoes ripen, peppers swell, the occasional morning glory shows itself, mint tries to creep in every other pot it can find, kale leaves disappear into the mouths of voracious cabbage butterfly caterpillars.

Some changes are better than others but they are all interesting to watch.

In response to this week’s theme Close up

The Summer Half of the Color Wheel

Orange, yellow and green cherry tomatoesOrange, yellow, and green — three colors showing one of the best things that summer has to offer.
Orange, yellow, green cherry tomatoesThese cherry tomatoes are tiny, but they are filled with summertime flavor and make me happy. I love stepping outside for a little snack, and watching the colors change from green to yellow to orange.
Orange, yellow, green cherry tomatoes