Monday, March 25, 2013

Homely Plants

Do you have plants that you love more than they, perhaps, deserve?  Plants that have some special meaning to you for any of a number of reasons?  Homely plants, in the way Tolkien used homely means something that makes you feel at home.

I love beautiful plants, but there are also some homely plants that hold my heart and that must have a place in my garden.  One is Wandering Jew (tradescantia pallida).  Early in my marriage, my Aunt Janice gave me one as a houseplant.  At the time, the plant itself didn't especially appeal to me, but it was a gift from a lovely woman, and I treasured it for years.  While I'm not sure what actually happened to the mother plant, cuttings abounded, and through several moves, W.J. followed in all it's lack of glory.  At some point, the plant itself (or maybe the symbol it represented) made its way into my heart, and there will always be W.J. somewhere in every new garden.

:) A post on Plants Are the Strangest People made the point that tradescantia pallida gets no respect and used this term in connection with it:  Schlub. n. (slang) A stupid, clumsy, or unattractive person.  From Yiddish.

Mr. Subjunctive, however, goes on to list some of the plant's merits and is obviously a fan, aware of both the flaws and attributes of the lowly W.J.  And paired with Marguerite sweet potato vine, W.J. is a winner.  Well, in my humble, but decided opinion.

You can't even really see W.J., it's deep purple blending into the soil, but the lime green Marguerite sweet potato behind it will  complement and highlight the purple.  I took this with my Ipad, but will take some pics with my camera...if I ever remember to take it when we go to the cabin.  Both plants will be a nice ground cover and provide plenty of cuttings to produce more of the same.

Petunias - Pretty Much PicassoOn the other end of the scale from homely plants, I've added some "Pretty Much Picasso" petunias.  Fell in love with the colors and the tiny blooms.  The picture is from a nursery photo, but you can see how gorgeous they are.   Love these almost as much for their name as for their vivid color combination.

I'll share some more of my favorite homely plants in another post.

Came home Sunday, but I'm going back this soon as the laundry is all finished, and a few other chores completed.


  1. Love your photos of the garden, Jenny. You and Fee have worked miracles. It's lovely.

  2. LOVE that petunia and hope to find it here..not for a bit though. DH says I adopt plants so I have lots of "interesting" ones many of which are houseplants.

  3. Those have to be the best petunias I've ever seen. I don't like them, as a rule. But these are gorgeous.

  4. Wow, your camp garden looks better than my yard! Of course, you work at it, and I barely garden at all. You're right, the two plants do look great together. I love the contrast of the purple and the green/gold. Can't wait for pics of your garden in a few weeks.

  5. Oh my goodness, but you've undertaken a monster of a project! It's astonishing! Yes, I have a has been with us for 25 years.

    Hope you and yours have a very happy Easter.

  6. Mary - I haven't worked this hard in a long time. :)

    Rian - It IS a monster, and our dreams just get bigger and the list of "to do's" gets longer and longer.

    You didn't name your plant, but 25 years means it deserves a special anniversary!


Good to hear from you!