susansflowers

garden ponderings


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Amaranth aka Pigweed

Such a beautiful flower, I cannot imagine it as a weed.
(I better watch my thoughts, as one person’s weed may be another person’s treasure!)
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My first time ever to grow this flower, and I had no idea what to expect.
It is about as tall as a cornstalk (5-6 feet, or up to 2 meters), but its ‘tassels’ droop down instead of staying erect, as with corn.
The flowers are a beautiful fuchsia color, and quite elongate
– around 12 inches (30 cm) long.

I read that these flowers can be dried and used in arrangements past their bloom season.  Of course, I have to try this:-)
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The flower on the far end was cut a few days ago.  It was laying on a counter and making a mess by dropping pollen.  Time to learn how to dry these.

First thing I discovered was amaranth flowers come in erect or hanging forms.
A suggestion to keep the fall of the flower was to drape it over a box.
This is how I interpret how to arrange these flowers for dehydration.  The color of the flower has darkened already.  I’ll keep you posted as to the success of this endeavor.


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Christmas Cactus

I picked up starts for Christmas Cactus a number of years ago from a friend.  A start is merely a ‘leaf’ from a plant.  Not knowing anything about these, but that I coveted such a pretty flowering plant, I acquired ‘leaves’ from 4 separate and different colored flowering specimens.  Needless to say, not all survived.  But the ones that did take root have given me great joy, as they flower in the early winter when everything outdoors has ‘given up the ghost’ for the season here in the Pacific Northwest.

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This sturdy plant hangs in a southwest facing room at the back of the house.  Yes, I forget to water it sometimes, specially when I get busy outdoors in the warm season.  Then I remember that this is a succulent and doesn’t mind drying out between waterings – as long as I don’t let it dry out too much!  It does not want to be forgotten, just like the rest of us.

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A teeny-tiny bathroom is the home of this beauty.  It was a challenge to photograph because there was so little room to move, and the incoming daylight was difficult to adjust for.  I lowered the shade, but there is still strange colored light.  This plant has definitely found its home.  Its funny (to me) how similar plants fare so differently in various exposures, like in windowsills around the house.