July 21, 2011
Gay's Delight coleus
Photo by Jessica Walliser
This year’s I’m growing Gay’s Delight coleus, but next year there are so many more varieties I want to try.

I recently wrote an article on coleus for my weekly newspaper column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and found out about a terrific mail-order company that I had never heard of before. Now, I have always liked coleus and I grow several different ones in my garden every year, but I had no idea how many hundreds of different cultivars there are out there and just how stunning some of them can be. I have always felt limited by the handful of selections available at our local nurseries, but now that I know how many gorgeous varieties are out there, I am really feeling short changed!

Rosy Dawn Gardens in New Hudson, Mich., has hundreds of coleus varieties listed alphabetically on its website. With images to accompany each one, it’s easy to find your favorites. (Narrowing them down, however, is not!)

I would love to visit this place sometime and walk through their greenhouses and see all the different coleuses close up. I usually grow Black Dragon, which is a variety started by seed that Rosy Dawn does not supply, as well as a couple selections started from cuttings. This year, I am growing Gay’s Delight in my front window boxes and just love it. I also like the trailing varieties for my window boxes and containers, too. I fell in love with Inky Fingers a few years ago, and after perusing this website, next year I’m going to have to get Apocalypse, Sparkler, Ruby Laser, El Brighto, Felix and Darth Vader. Can’t wait!

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