Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fireworks Love

Day 159
The Daily DuBrule

I love fireworks. Yes, of course I love the kind that shoot up in the air on the 4th of July and explode in the sky. Those are wonderful, albeit short. What I really love as a gardener is a fabulous new annual that I discovered on a trip to Ball Horticulture headquarters outside of Chicago a couple of years ago. I am referring to Gomphrena 'Fireworks'.

This is a globe amaranth unlike any other I have ever seen. I have grown globe amaranths many times for their dried flowers. I have raised purple ones, white ones, even red ones. They are not known as fabulous container plants by any means. In fact, I think they do best in rows in a cutting garden, production style. When I saw Gomphrena 'Fireworks' in many of the demonstration beds at Ball, I was in love.

One plant in a pot will produce flowers for fresh bouquets and for drying for three months or more. The stems are long and strong. The plant can grow 18-24" tall. It is not fussy, can handle super-hot summers, and doesn't seem bothered by a lot of insects. My kind of annual!

I am usually leery about new introductions. I like to try them out for a while before I know if they are worth the hype. In this case, I think we've got a keeper in the world of horticulture. A cause for celebration, for sure. 

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