Coleus and Passion flower don't mind heat

From left: Salvia koyamae, Coleus 'Wasabi',
'Fishnet Stockings', and 'Marooned, with Agastache
'Golden Jubilee' and 'Clear Skies' passion flower on the fence.
If you planted Coleus, you're patting yourself on the back just about now. That's because blooms move very quickly through their stages when it's really, really hot. Except, of course, for many annuals. I made a combination in the new raised bed using Coleus ColorBlaze® Marooned, the latest from Proven Winners. PW sent me two of the plants to try, so I mixed them with another PW Coleus called 'Fishnet Stockings' and a Ball Floraplant variety called 'Wasabi'.

Now that's a tall tomato. Hard to tell from
the shot, but it's more than six feet tall.
Coleus bulks up tremendously by mid-summer, so I like to use it in the ground. No matter where I plant it, Coleus performs. I even put a couple of varieties in "No man's Land," a place I don't dare visit after the end of June for fear of falling down in the midst of the foliage and never being heard from again. I will probably venture over there in a month or so, as soon as I lay my hands on a scythe, or perhaps a sickle of some kind.

Anyway, it's possible I won't be growing anything in this spot next year, as the Coleus are surrounded on either side by a very aggressive shade-loving Salvia koyamae and the dreaded Agastache foeniculum.

Oh yeah, and did I mention the shading effect provided by the 6-foot + grafted tomato 'Japanese Trifele'? Growing plants with a preference (even a need) for sun requires special tools, including the tallest stakes you can get your hands on and lots of twine. My favorite stakes for tomatoes are 8-foot rebar (reinforced steel bars) that are slender enough to be easily driven into the ground yet flexible enough to move with the wind.
Passiflora 'Clear Skies' has a center whose color
is echoed in the Coleus ColorBlaze® Marooned.
One plant that doesn't seem to mind the heat, or the somewhat shady location on an eastward facing fence and shaded by the tall tomato plant, is Passiflora 'Clear Skies', a tropical passion flower vine I'm glad I planted. It's moving its way closer to the other tomato that I'm training on the fence, which is bordered on the other side by a vigorous clematis.

As happens so often in my garden, it's time when the tough take over where the tender leave off (or fail to tread, whichever you prefer.) I'm feeding them all equally with a combination time release fertilizer and a weekly dose of water soluble general purpose plant food.

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