Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Garden surprises

Red amaranth

While at the annual family clambake last weekend, I was asked what surprised me most about my garden this year. I had no answer. (Believe me, it is rare for me to be speechless.)

I think I have one now, though it is fairly lame. I am surprised by how much I like this amaranth. There are maybe 20 plants scattered around the veg garden, the largest of which is pushing 10' in height. What good the plants do is debatable. We can eat the leaves when they're small in salads, though as Tom said, yeah, if you like hairy leaves, they might just be your thing. These things probably won't produce enough amaranth to even make one cupcake, so there goes the other edible utility of the plants. I suppose I can grind up the thick stems in the chipper and add them to the mulch pile. So mostly I like the things because they're big, and they're red. Is that surprising?


Carol said...

I'm not surprised. I like plants that grow a lot and get big in one season, like sunflowers. Maybe next year I'll try amaranth!

El said...

Oh, do try amaranth, Carol! The seeds are teeny tiny, but they grow fairly easily once the weather warms up...similar to both corn and sunflowers that way. They don't really like to be transplanted, but if you do it when they're really small (4" or so) then they'll thrive. There are tons of colors. Love-lies-bleeding is a relative.