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Jan 5, 2014 2:48 PM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Region: Ukraine Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis
Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level
"Good growing season color" is one of the categories that can be checked in the Foliage subsection of the plant data form.

I have always reserved this for foliage that's red, chartreuse, etc. -- anything but plain green. I'm seeing people add this to plants with standard green foliage, however. If it applies in this case, how meaningful is the description? Wouldn't this mean that every plant displays "good growing season color"? After all, there are no plants with colorless foliage.
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Jan 5, 2014 3:44 PM CST
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Well, "good growing season color" could be construed to mean that the plant is attractive just for it's foliage, regardless of color. Should we have a place to indicate foliage color, as well as bloom color? Or is that already there and I just missed it.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
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Jan 5, 2014 3:54 PM CST
Garden.org Admin
Name: Dave Whitinger
Grapevine, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Garden Research Contributor Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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I think "Good growing season" color should indeed be reserved for plants that exhibit something in their leaves that is unusual or interesting. As you said, zuzu, red, chartreuse, etc, is what this is intended for.

There are plants that are grown specifically for their foliage, and I wonder if that's what people are trying to say when they check this off? I'm thinking of tapioca, which has great foliage but is solid green. I believe it's worth noting that you'd grow it for foliage but I wouldn't say that tapioca has "good growing season color".
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Jan 5, 2014 3:58 PM CST
Plants Admin Emeritus
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Aroids Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Vermiculture
Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Composter Plant Identifier
I agree

Do we want to add that as a choice?
Evan
Last edited by eclayne Jan 5, 2014 3:59 PM Icon for preview
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Jan 5, 2014 5:09 PM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Region: Ukraine Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis
Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level
If something's grown just for the foliage, that should be apparent from the lack of information in the fruit and blooms subsections.

I just think this particular description has been overused. I searched for "good growing season color" and found 998 results. Many were tulips, daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, and a variety of other plants with standard green foliage.
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Jan 6, 2014 11:10 AM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Plant Database Moderator Region: California Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Roses Clematis
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Yikes, that's too many, they don't even qualify for interesting foliage! Looks like we need to do some clean-up and get this category on the right track.
I think another category like Evan suggested would be good, like grown for foliage. Coleus and hosta would fit into that.
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Jan 6, 2014 11:41 AM CST
Garden.org Admin
Name: Dave Whitinger
Grapevine, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Garden Research Contributor Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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I think we should add a "Grown for foliage" under Leaves.

But I think we should keep "Good growing season color" for the plants that have nice color on their leaves during the growing season.

Then, I can go through and automatically remove that checkbox for everything under certain genera like tulips, daffodils, etc.

How does that sound?
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Jan 6, 2014 11:42 AM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Plant Database Moderator Region: California Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Roses Clematis
Houseplants Foliage Fan Keeper of Poultry Dog Lover Birds Hummingbirder
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Jan 6, 2014 12:24 PM CST
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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I do like the idea of adding "Grown for foliage," but I still find the "good growing season color" description a bit vague. Would it make sense to reword that to indicate that the growing season color makes a nice contrast with normal green foliage? Or something like that? Because I think that just adding the "grown for foliage" box may not solve the problem of people checking the "good growing season color" box when it's not really appropriate. Just a thought.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
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Jan 6, 2014 4:07 PM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Region: Ukraine Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis
Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level
I agree with Woofie that the "good growing season color" description is too vague and therefore can be misleading. We need words to indicate that the color is intriguing, but I can't think of an appropriate phrase.
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Jan 6, 2014 4:46 PM CST
Garden.org Admin
Name: Dave Whitinger
Grapevine, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Garden Research Contributor Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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I agree and I will do whatever the consensus is.
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Jan 6, 2014 5:00 PM CST
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Sempervivums Lilies Hybridizer
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@dave I think there are a few of those in the lily data base. If you can take care of those with one fell swoop of the wand that would be great.
Last edited by pardalinum Jan 6, 2014 5:03 PM Icon for preview
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Jan 6, 2014 6:21 PM CST
Garden.org Admin
Name: Dave Whitinger
Grapevine, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Garden Research Contributor Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Region: Ukraine Garden Sages Plant Identifier Avid Green Pages Reviewer Vermiculture The WITWIT Badge
Once we decide what to do I'll make it happen. The easiest will be for me to apply the change to all plants inside whatever genera (or better yet, custom databases) are required.
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Jan 6, 2014 6:24 PM CST
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Sempervivums Lilies Hybridizer
Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Pollen collector Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Sounds like a good plan! Thanks.
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Jan 6, 2014 6:42 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database.
How about something like :

"Colorful foliage in growing season (not green)"

I assume that "growing season" is there to rule out trees that have fall colors when the chlorophyll is gone?

P.S. I modified many lettuce entries and only checked the box if the lettuce had color other than green or in addition to green. (And there had to be a fair amount of color - not just a blush on the tips.) Also, if most photos online showed it with only green or 99% green, I didn't let glowing vendor descriptions carry me away.

Also, I took the liberty of NOT checking the "growing season color" checkbox if I didn't like the looks of it. There are some dull muddy brown-red-green varieties that I just didn't like the looks of, and thought would not be widely enjoyed.

BTW, speaking of growing season color - have you seen the cover of Johnnies Selected Seeds 2014 catalog? Very strong color contrasts in maroon and two tones of green, but I think it's ugly, or at least science-fictionish. Page 24 'Fiero' radicchio. As if it were a human-size Venus Fly-Trap and had some blood spatter from its last meal.
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Jan 6, 2014 7:46 PM CST
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
What about a selection of "growing season foliage color" with a few choices like grey, or russet, or purple or something like that?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
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Jan 6, 2014 8:02 PM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Region: Ukraine Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis
Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level
A selection of colors wouldn't work for me. When I search for plants with foliage of unusual colors, I want to see all of them at once. I don't want to have to look for each specific color, especially in view of the way some people misuse the "Other" boxes on the data form. They might ignore "Russet" and type in "Other: Mahogany" or choose to enter "Other: Slate Gray" instead of simply checking the "Gray" box. I couldn't begin to guess all of the fanciful color names they might come up with, and my search would therefore be incomplete.

I already run into that problem when I search for a particular flower color. When I search for blue blooms, for instance, there are some plants that are conspicuously absent from the results. I know they're blue, however, so I look for them. When I go to the entry, I find that someone entered "Other: Cobalt Blue" or "Other: Powder Blue" instead of checking the "Blue" box.
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Jan 6, 2014 8:14 PM CST
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Good point, Zuzu. Hmmm, what about something like "unusual growing season color?" Or "good contrast growing season color?" Just stumbling around here looking for useful verbiage.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
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Jan 6, 2014 8:23 PM CST
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database.
Zuzu, what I like to do, when it is possible, is to check any box that someone might search on. Like "red".

THEN, add fanciful names like Other: "burgundy" or "claret" or "cerise".
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Jan 6, 2014 8:24 PM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Region: Ukraine Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis
Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level
I'm stumbling too, Woofie. We need to brainstorm this. Who can come up with a phrase to signify intriguing color that isn't standard green?

"Good color, other than green" and "Striking color (not green)" wouldn't work because chartreuse is a good color and a striking color, but it's also green, and I would want it to be included in my search.

Your suggestion of "Unusual foliage color" is the best I've heard so far. If people feel moved to describe the "unusual color," they can describe it in a plant comment.

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