Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Plants

Love Lies Bleeding is such an inappropriate name for this beautiful plant.  The year I grew this there were lots of  O's and Ah's from my neighbors.  I started them from seed and they were quite WOW in my front garden along a walkway.  This variety can  be grown in a container with complimentary plantings.  They grow approximately four feet tall and two feet wide.  There are different varieties of Amaranthus Caudatus ( red, green and purple).  The green is especially lovely dried.  Amaranthus dates back to Aztec civilizations used as a food product even into the current day in certain cultures (toasting and grinding of seeds).

Amaranthus 'Love Lies Bleeding'

Amaranthus Green

A similar looking plant is Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate (Persicaria Orientle).  It can grow to twelve feet tall and two feet wide and can be planted in containers (although you would require a huge container to hold this height) or in borders.  My photo was taken at the Chicago Botanic Garden last summer where it was planted in the ground with dahlias framing their entrance.

I have included my photo of inky fingers coleus crawling through my raised bed (this is just one plant).  I had to go back into my 35mm prints to find these.  It sure makes it a lot easier when everything is digital.