Colors

We have an atrium in our house. An eight foot square area that’s open to the outdoors. It really serves no purpose, but it’s still the reason we bought the house. And I still enjoy it every day, even though the only time I spend out there is cleaning or planting or pulling weeds. It doesn’t get quite enough sun to grow blooming plants, so I try to brighten things up with leaf color. I kind of think I might have gotten carried away.

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I just planted these two. I’m thinking that something with chartreuse leaves might be a good addition to the group.

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This spotted croton is a bright spot in a dark corner. This is its second year in the atrium and it’s taken off.

I got this calathea lancifolia to replace the Persian Shield plant that died this summer when temps got up to 110. I really like the Persian Shield. The leaves are spectacular, but summers were too hot and it didn’t survive our zone 10 winters, so I decided to go with something else. I’m not a huge fan of annuals. Digging stuff up and planting it again, over and over doesn’t appeal to me. A few around the edges for color, yes, but no big swathes of plants that need to be replaced all the time. Not that I actually have big swathes. So I planted the calathea and now I’m wondering if it’s not a little too extravagant. However, it seems very happy where it is. It didn’t get crispy in the last heat wave we had, which was my greatest fear. So I’ll leave it where it is, wild spots and all.

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