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Tuesday, May 18, 2004


Cleome. The name alone conjures up something elegant and mysterious to me. I went plant shopping over the weekend (surprise surprise). As my husband and I were just moving toward the cash register, I noticed a big rolling rack of Cleome, so nothing would do but I had to go and grab three pots. My husband laughed and said, "I didn't think we were going to get out of here with only a few plants in the cart" and then proceeded to take two of the pots into his cart. Yes, we had two carts.

When we arrived home, we "parked" all the plants around my front garden so that we could do a few Saturday chores. Well, Saturday turned into Sunday and I realized I better get these guys into the ground before they started gasping too hard. They had bent over slightly and looked like they really needed water so I found a home for them under the oak tree where they could get partial sun, and watered them thoroughly. The plants immediately raised their heads and put their best smiles back on as I knew they would.

Cleome hasslerana, more commonly known as spider flower, is a reliable plant. It is heat and drought tolerant once established and is elegant looking, producing clusters of pink and white flowers on stalks up to 4 feet tall. Cleome is such a versatile plant as well in that it provides tremendous color, makes a great cut flower, and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Considered an annual, the best thing is that once it stretches its roots and feels at home, it will self-seed. Of course, if you don't put it in the right place it can be a little overwhelming with its height, but I have been known to trim mine back and they have produced more blooms on branches.

So my cleome plants are happy and nodding their heads my way. I'll take more pictures once they are more firmly established. Happy Gardening and when you go plant shopping, get more than one cart. You will probably need it.

Hi Blogger,
Ah...cleome is one of the really interesting blogs I’ve found during my search for info about gifts for gardening. Although Ah...cleome isn't exactly what I was looking for, I want to express my admiration, keep up the good work! While looking for more information about gifts for gardening, I seldom see a good blog like yours.
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Thanks to Andrew Stenning who contributed the photograph for our masthead

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