Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Playing with Foliage and Flowers

I overwinter double impatiens inside and take cuttings from them over the winter. They're easy to start from cuttings. Yesterday the last of the hanging baskets they're in were brought in to our basement greenhouse. It 'bout killed me to pull off all the blooms, but they're just too messy in the basement. Working on the patio table, I picked them off and piled them on the table one by one. An old girl scout craft project must have popped into my head, and I picked up some of the colorful leaves that have fallen in the yard, and before I knew it, I had this bouquet. I should have been working on the garden, but you know how it is. . . there's something about autumn that brings out the kid in me! I didn't get everything done that I wanted to, but at least all the tender plants are now inside, spared from the frost that will likely be here any day now.


  1. Linda, I love the 3d "collage"! I guess I'd not seen double impatiens--they're very rosy, aren't they? We had another hard frost this overnight...
    ~ Monica

  2. How pretty - I do like the idea of your basement greenhouse - it really intrigues me everytime I read it - maybe a subject for a post?!

  3. How long did it take you to collect such a variety of unblemished leaves?

    (I have to ignore leaves. I want to press them, then there's nothing to do with them next. One year I made Christmas cards with them - but you can't do that all the time!)

  4. Lovely, Linda! Thanks for reminding me to bring in my impatiens--I was just going to take some cuttings, but it would be far easier to bring the whole basket in for now.

  5. what must it be liked to have to overwinter your garden? I can only imagine that it is like saying "good night" for a long time.

    Short season gardeners must have a special appreciation for gardens because of the limited time they get to enjoy them.
    Shirley ( in los Angeles)

  6. Anonymous10:34 AM

    I love that arrangement of double impatiens with the fall leaves. At least you were able to get all your tenders into your basement.

  7. Hi there garden girl, those double impatients are so pretty and seem to bloom on forever don't they.I have never tried to winter over inside. That would be good if you find a color you like as each year seems to spotlight something different.
    Thanks for the comments at pollinators-welcome. You do not have to be a Master Gardener to join in on the seed harvest. Ryan is very good at showing us how to collect and where to find that days seed. We would love to have you this friday if you could free up just a couple of hours in the morning.I know you would have a great time.
    E-mail me ptbrr at
    Ryan White from Audubon
    4ryanwhite at


  8. You're a brave woman. Don't know if I could have done it myself! But you're looking to the next season, so that's what it's all about.

  9. Hi Linda...You've been nominated for an award! Stop by my Wishnik Woods blog to accept your award if you'd like!

  10. Thanks Monica, yep they do look a lot like roses. No frost here yet, but it's coming. The west suburbs have gotten some frost the last couple of nights. Our tree canopy here usually holds back frost for awhile. It's funny to see dead annuals in neighbors' yards, while ours are still blooming. We have our own little microclimate in the back yard!

    Hi VP, thank you! It was fun to play with them!

    Hi Esther, surprisingly, not long! I'd already noticed how many pretty leaves were on the lawn, and just started picking them up. The ones that still have some green on them were picked off our serviceberry. They are so pretty at that stage, I couldn't resist plucking a few. There are lots of pretty leaves on the ground. They must be coming from the tree tops, since most of the leaves I see on the trees are still green.

    I know what you mean about ignoring them - I tossed them into the garden when I was finished playing with them. They probably wouldn't hold those colors even if I did find something to do with them. Christmas cards - that's a good idea!

    Hi Rose, I'll probably wait until sometime in the winter to take the cuttings - too busy to do it now with all the other chores I still have left outside!

    Hi Shirley, you're lucky to live in a climate where you can garden year-round! It's not fun having to schlep all the tender plants inside!

    We do appreciate our gardens in the frozen tundra, ;) but I'm sure I'd really appreciate having green and blooms all year even more, not to mention warm weather!

    Hi Racquel, I didn't start out planning to do that - it just sort of happened spontaneously. I think I was getting tired of schleping plants and needed a diversion!

    Hi Gloria, I was spending too much $$ on annuals, and tender plants, so I decided to try overwintering them. I take cuttings from the impatiens. Combined with the other stuff I overwinter, it saves me quite a bit of cash!

    Unfortunately I have to work on Friday, so I won't be able to come. I do have some flexibility in my schedule except for Wednesdays and Fridays, especially now as the gardening season is drawing to a close. If I didn't have to work, I'd love to join you all. It sounds like a fun learning experience.

    Hi Brenda, it's kind of sad saying goodbye to all the flowers! At least I have the photos and the memories, and of course, there's always next year! Winter can't end too soon for me.

  11. Such beautiful flowers. It would've killed me too to take off those beautiful flowers.

  12. A beautiful creation!

  13. What a delightful and beautiful flowe and foliage creation! is fun to get in touch with our little kid! It is so important to play everyday...

    I miss basements!


  14. Good morning Tina, they still have buds, and I'll probably be compelled to let a few of them bloom over the winter!

    Thank you Naturegirl!

    I agree Gail! Playing keeps us young. I hope you and Frances are enjoying playing in her garden!

    If we ever decide to move from here, a basement will be a must! It's nice having a place to overwinter plants, not to mention that having a basement makes me feel better about living in Tornado Alley! We've waited out more than one tornado warning down there!

  15. Linda that is very beautiful...I have never tried to overwinter impatients, perhaps I will try that next year. Do you overwinter coleus as well?

  16. Thank you Kim! I'm honored to receive this award from you!

  17. beautiful double impatiens, i love purple and with the deep coloured leaves behind them, exquisite.

  18. HI Linda, what a joyful arrangement! As an old girl scout and even girl scout leader myself, I appreciate a good nature craft with free materials. I always loved it when our group would be assigned the table decoration job when we went camping! That would have been a beauty.


  19. Good morning Kathi, yep, I overwinter coleus too. Actually, I just take cuttings from the coleus to overwinter. The parent plants get kind of woody, so this year I just took the cuttings and pitched the old plants.

    Hi Marmee, I just love those little rose-like blooms. Roses don't do well here in our shade, and there are no thorns on impatiens!

    Thanks Frances! I had a blast channeling my inner girl scout!


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