Saturday, August 25, 2012

My new favorite annual

I've got a new favorite...

I first read about this annual in one of my favorite gardening books, Gardening for Ohio, by Denny McKeown, a longtime Cincinnati garden guru.

It's called globe amaranth, or gomphrena. A very cool little flowerhead that looks like it's dried out already. Great colors.

It's very strange, I hardly ever see this one at my usual garden centers. Mostly, I've found it at the big box stores. I hadn't found any in the last few years so much. I've had a nice lighter purple variety before.

So, I was shopping the seed packets at Target this spring and I found a packet of gomphrena 'Strawberry.' I snatched it up for sure. I checked my book and read that it doesn't direct-sow well into the ground. I decided to just give it a try.

I planted some seeds into the ground after danger of frost. My son also planted a few seeds in his pot on the patio. Well.....the seeds in the ground did nothing. Admittedly, it has not been a stellar season for direct-sowing. So, maybe I'll give it another try. sprouted out in my son's pot. At first, I wasn't sure if it was a weed or not. After some time, we saw the blooms come on.

So cool! What's not to love? Long stems that are great for cutting inside--which I do sparingly to encourage more bloom. Pretty grey/green foliage. The flowerheads are really pretty....

Great color. I love the little yellow flecks upon closer inspection. The hummingbirds have also enjoyed them!

These flowers are also great for drying for winter display. I'll share some pics of that later this year.

What new annuals have you tried out recently?

1 comment:

Fred Reeder Jr. said...

The hummingbird effect is the best part about this flower, although I do appreciate the flecks of yellow!