Sunday, August 17, 2008

Acquired Tastes

There are things in life that only become palatable or aesthetically pleasing after one has had sufficient exposure to them. Such was the case for me with Guinness Stout, asparagus and the color orange. But a person has to decide for herself if the appreciation will develop over time or if that thing that is initially unpleasant will be ever thus.

Which brings me to Coleus Midnight Train. When I first saw it at the nursery I kind of thought "Eeeww". Something about it brought to mind scary things that go bump in the night. But what kind of gardener would I be if I didn't make a commitment to trying new things? For only $4.99, I figured it was worth the risk.

I potted it with a penstemon whose blooms echo the bright pink in the veins of the coleus foliage, some chartreuse sweet potato vine which is in sharp contrast to the deep purple (nearly black) of the leaves and an ornamental oregano (more on that delightful plant in a later post).

Of course, it could have ended up being a disappointment in which case I would not have hesitated to replace the coleus with something else. Instead, what I got was a plant that was at first strange and is now a contributor to one of my favorite arrangements this season.

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