to celebrate the publication of my new book


Our colorful 1751 farmhouse will be open to the public. On view will be many of the projects that are featured in Crafting A Pattern Home along with many other things I have made over the years.

This event will be a celebration of the handmade. I hope the day will inspire you to add some pattern and color to your home.

The event is FREE. Books will be available along with some other things I have made. For more information and directions, see the EVENTBRITE PAGE HERE. Although tickets are not mandatory, it will help me get a count to know what to expect. Hope to see you here in western Massachusetts in May.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

More Flowers - Big, Bold and Beautiful Amaranth

For a few years now, I have been growing several different kinds of amaranth in my vegetable/cutting garden. I just love this plant. It starts out small and petite. Evidently, you can eat the leaves in salad or sauteed. Has anyone tried it? As the summer progresses, it grows and grows and grows. It is glorious, in my humble opinion.

There are over sixty varieties of Amaranth and you can purchase several different kinds of seeds from Seeds of Change. Me, I bought my plants from the fine folks at Walker Farm in Dummerston, VT. I'm not much for starting seeds. This year I purchased a beautiful red variety (sorry, don't know the name) and a lovely light orangish/tan/gold variety that is almost multi-colored and looking lovely with the pinky/purple cosmos blooming behind. The way the gold colored plants grow, they remind me of tonally dyed yarn.

I'm just crazy about the texture of this plant. Like celosia, it has almost a wooly, mohair-ish, chenillish, pom pom quality to it. This is a different variety, also a maroonish color, which has a Dr. Seuss-like look to it.

Some seeds from last year actually volunteered themselves and I let them grow. By the end of the year, they were almost as tall as me although the ones in this photo had fallen over and were happily re-growing amongst another favorite flower Verbena Bonarionsis. (The Verbena will self-seed like the amaranth if you let it.)

By the end of September, the plants were wild.

They were heavy with seed (which is a grain you can eat) and falling every which way. Just the way I like a garden - full and crazy with bloom.

I picked many, many armfuls of these plants. They look great in big vases and really look lovely with sunflowers.

Now, they are sadly gone and I only have a few lingering in these blue vases on the porch. These vases are actually bases for old oil lamps I found at a flea market a long time ago.

Remember the October Giveaway #3 ends Friday the 22nd at noon. October Giveaway #2 at YarnMarket.com goes on until Oct. 31st so check it out and enter if you haven't already.


Sojourner Design said...

I'm just wondering whether the amaranth attracts birds. Amaranth is sold for parakeets etc and I believe they love to eat it.
I think what I love most about having sunflowers just outside my house is all the bird activity they bring.


Virginia said...

I swear, you could write amaranth 15 million times and I would forget what it is each time.

A garden down the street has some, and my daughter keeps asking me what it is...


Kate G said...

We sauté the leaves, just as we do spinach. The trick is to trim out the stems and center vein. Very mild green, but a good side to a spicy lamb sausage.

Julie said...

Beautiful! I love the arrangement with the sunflowers.

Lindsay said...

I love to use amaranth to dye yarn. ;-)

Jane/WTKnits said...

Wow! Beautiful pictures. Can you dry amaranth or does it just go to dust?