Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Seed Germinates

While knocking around in one of the gardens at Atlock Farm a few weeks ago, I spotted a tiny but colorful plant and immediately went over for a closer look. To my surprise, it was an infant coleus. While volunteer coleus may be commonplace in areas with warmer winters, in central Jersey it’s quite rare for me to spot one coming up from a seed that most likely spent the winter outside.

I carefully pulled the seedling out of the garden with a little soil attached and then nestled it into roomier quarters – a four-inch plastic pot of a nice, open growing medium – and set it among the rest of the coleus in one of the greenhouses. Since then it hasn’t missed a beat, and already I’m fantasizing about introducing the next ‘Alabama Sunset’ or ‘Inky Fingers’ to the world in a year or two.

Well, chances are my little rescue will remain merely a gleam in its stepfather’s eye. I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and some eyes are a bit myopic. Also, I’ve been around the neighborhood long enough to be aware that the already changeable foundling may well mature into a homely ogre. Some calamity may befall it before I have a chance to make a few cuttings from it to test its vigor and genetic stability (think colorfastness, if you will).

But I have hope. Something special could be in the works here.

And so it is with the Coleus Society. Just last week this website went live, and already there have been 171 hits on the site – two more since I sat down to write this! I know that any number of futures, from rosy to ashen to something in between, awaits the site and the Society. But for now I’m happy to watch the seedling Society grow and to help nurture it as others interact with it.

PLEASE NOTE: no reasonable person expects an infant to run the 100-yard dash or to engage in a spirited debate. For the time being, this site and the incipient Coleus Society may appear to develop slowly, and my blog will take the form of a weekly monologue. However, kids inexorably grow up, so perhaps with your interest and input the Society will in time become a strong, healthy, and vigorously interactive member of society.