Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Foliage Friday!

Join Pam at Digging for Foliage Followup, the sequel to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!  See the Comments section for links to gardens all over!  Thanks, Pam, for hosting!

One of my favorite foliage plants is Calathea, sometimes called Prayer Plant because it folds its leaves in the evening like praying hands.  These tropicals are popular houseplants because the leaves are so decorative.  Gardeners in Southern zones can try them outside in containers. Last fall, I read about gardeners in Georgia planting them in beds.  I remember being amazed -- and not willing to risk it.  They are tender and cannot take a frost or a freeze.  Calatheas prefer a warm, humid location (perfect for us!) and just the right amount of light.  Too little light and their leaves might not fold at night.  Too much light and the beautiful colors will fade.  Mine do best in the shade of the back porch.

There are all different kinds of calathea species -- these are just a few!

(They flower too! I think this is Calathea 'Medallion.')

(Calathea zebrina, I think...)

(Calathea lancifolia, I think...)


  1. Wow, what unique variegation. It's like a double combination of texture. Can't wait to try these in containers.

  2. Hi Elizabeth,

    I love the variegation too! Your plants look happy:) I have a couple of them but not doing that great at the moment.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. Lovely to 'meet' you! Would love to be here again. Have a great weekend!

  3. Ooh, I'm crazy for that Calathea zebrina. Thanks for introducing me to a plant I hadn't run across before.

  4. Hello Elizabeth

    I grow calathea crocata here as a houseplant in Scotland but it would be lovely to be able to grow all the different types of calathea in my outdoor garden just the way you do as I love all their very different shapes and designs and colours on their leaves. Some of their leaves are lovely and soft to the touch aswell - I think your last photo would be a lovely leaf to feel. :) Rosie

  5. Oooh... I love your calatheas! We can only grow them as houseplants here, and they tend to be fussy in the wintertime. (Heat dries out the air too much for them, I guess, since you say that they love warm humidity.) They never really look as full and lush as yours!