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Cleome 

Spider Flower

A few years ago my mother asked me if I would like some “spider plants” for my garden. I asked her, “What are spider plants?” She said, Robbie, ” We had those in our yard ever since you were a small child.” Well, that was a long time ago, and for some reason I had forgotten what they looked like  until she showed me. I do remember these plants, but did not appreciate their beauty until I had a place to put them in my own garden.

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I call this area my “organized plant chaos” that I create each season. I just love to mix and match odd plants that no one would think of putting together. I have some permanent perennials throughout the urban potager, but love annuals from seed since I enjoy change.  I have to rotate crops each season in our small space to keep the soil healthy. This area is where we light our torches at night and hang out in the summer. At night, we like to have a tropical look, so it is fun to pretend we are not in the backyard!

IMG_9593_edited-1I know they are called spider plants, but in this area they remind me of fireworks exploding in the garden. They are easy to grow, and once you have them in your garden they will reseed every year. I have grown the pink, white and this one called violet queen. Sometimes I have found that they will mix and be variegated with some unusual combinations.

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Researching plants to attract beneficial insects cleome are known to be a great plant. One morning I was outside watching this beautiful bee tumble up and down on the cleome.

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I found quite a few bees buzzing around these fountains of cleome blooms. Cleome is a great reseeding annual that will attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and beneficial insects to your garden. I let them grow where they fall. If I don’t want them in a garden bed, I just pull up the seedling compost it or move it to another bed. They are pretty tough plants. They do not require much attention.

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Every spring they will pop up throughout the garden and I enjoy being surprised by where they decided to take root. This one decided to grow at the front of my strawberry patch, and I let it be….

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I like them because they will grow in areas that other flowers will not tolerate. They are excellent for xeriscaping. Here, a white cleome is tucked behind my air conditioner which tends to be a spot I forget to water some days.  This year they were one of the last flowers to reseed, so don’t  worry they will come back! They do get a bit large sometimes  , but I enjoy their blasts of color randomly playing throughout my urban potager!

Written by Robbie

M.S. Education, , Organic Gardener, soil + nature lover, former modern dancer

6 comments

    1. Hi Angela:-)
      I use an EOS Rebel T3. I purchased it about a year ago after I retired my 10 yr old camera. I am still learning how to use it and I like the Manual focus a bit better. It is not a fancy camera compared to some , but it does get the job done.

    1. oh, I am sorry. I know I put some large photos on the site:-) I love gardening too + being in the garden is the best place to relax + destress! Happy Gardening:-)

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