Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Love Lies Bleeding

I am very in love with a plant called "Love Lies Bleeding" also known as Amaranthus caudatus. I've grown it off and on for years, buying plants when I can find them. Once in a while, I pick up other colors including chartreuse and orange. There are many other related plants that give similar effects and I am crazy over all of them. I've got to try to plant some next year at the sunflower field because they blend so nicely with the yellow shades of sunflowers.


I plant my Love Lies Bleeding in my vegetable garden and then let the plants go without picking them until the end of the season. The flowers sometimes get big and gnarly and drippy. Some years my flowers have thinner tassels. Whatever the look and variety, they are spectacular in a vase at this time of year.


The Victorians were also crazy over Love Lies Bleeding and by looking at it, you should be able to tell why. What a totally decorative, showy, dramatic flower. I have it arranged here with my wacky Chinese Foo Dogs, some bottle gourds from last year, and an unmatched pair of cloisonne vases. I love how all the colors play together in this photo.


William Wordsworth wrote a poem about the plant.

Love Lies Bleeding
by William Wordsworth

You call it, Love lies bleeding, -- so you may,
Though the red Flower, not prostrate, only droops,
As we have seen it here from day to day,
From month to month, life passing not away:
A flower how rich in sadness! .........

Read the rest of the poem here:

In years past, I have used the blooms from my garden in oil paintings. It's fun to see how I portrayed the flower in the painting and what they look like in my garden this year. I hope I get to paint this year's crop this winter.




I'm off to Boston today for a talk and a class on Friday morning at the Boston Knitting Guild. Hope to see some of you there. The talk is at 10:30 at the College Club at 44 Commonwealth Ave.

10 comments:

Kathy said...

Those plants are stunning. What a beautiful post to read at the start of the day. Enjoy Boston!

Julie said...

I have tried to grow this plant from seed with no luck! :-(

Deborah Newton said...

The hanging tresses can look like skinny skeins of yarn and always are beguiling, I agree. So-- no wonder they are popular with knitters!

I find that if they like a spot, they will self sow year to year. They do like sun and a little moisture, not a really dry place,

Nik said...

Your work is very Van Gogh-esque. Me likey :D

Gammy aka Peggy said...

Those are beautiful. I've never seen those before. Is it something like Cock's Comb?

Quatrefoil said...

This is nothing like the plant that I though was love lies a-bleeding - a smaller, spindly thing. I wonder whether that's a 'different names in different countries' think, or, more likely, that I've just got it wrong? I'll have to find out what the other plant is.

Willow said...

your paintings have so much color in them. I see how your stitching echoes your painting. Which came first?

Connie said...

What decadently gothic flowers! Thanks for sharing them with us and with sharing your artwork too. You're so creative in so many ways!

Marie said...

Your post solved a mystery--I walk past my neighbor's garden and am arrested by these lovely things. Unfortunately, she passed away last year and the gardener is never around to ask, so I kept forgetting to look them up. Now I have a little history, the poem, and a beautiful photograph with which to enjoy them. Thanks.

Marie

ruthee said...

Thank you for this post....I have just found a name for a colourway for hand dyed yarn I have been working on....