Sunday, August 13
Cracked Amaranth: 'Hopi Red Dye'
We occasionally get strong Lake Erie winds here in the northern Cleveland suburbs, sometimes gusty and sometimes sustained. On Friday, I came home to find that gusts had knocked over some of my most top-heavy 'Hopi Red Dye' amaranth plants. Stems were twisted and broken, and the upright panicles were horizontal to the ground.
Yesterday, I cut down all of the broken pieces along with those top-heavy stalks that remained upright but looked rather shaky without the support of those stalks that were culled.
All is not lost, though... as you can see in the first picture, some of the remaining stalks still have small flowers. In this pic they're combined with the yellow umbels of bronze fennel and the swordlike foliage of irises in the garden.
I liked this combination so much that I brought a bouquet of fennel and amaranth inside and loosely arranged it in an old milkglass vase from my grandma. I got two pictures of it before my camera batteries died and I discovered that my backup set hadn't been recharged yet from earlier in the week. Argh.
I'm not sure how decorative the amaranth will be when it dries, but on a whim I tied the cut stalks to a recently trashpicked metal trellis to dry. The trellis sits behind the Japanese lantern that I got for just a few bucks when a local garden center closed down, and it adds some much-needed color to the boring beige garage there.
I'll find out how well they dry (or not) when I get back into town later this week--I'm going out of town for several days to attend a conference for work. Maybe when I let you all know how they turn out, I can finally post those bouquet pictures, too! See you all in a few days...