Tag Archives: Organic Flowers

The Itinerant Gardener

lantana
For the moment, GardenGrrrl is an itinerant. This summer I’m living with some friends in a shared house. In September I will be moving to a new city to begin a new graduate school program. Lately it’s been one move after another with little time to establish a garden. In the meantime I have still be assisting friends in getting their gardens started. I will be posting more on various gardens that I have coached clients through.

For now, here’s a picture of some Lantana in the front yard of my summer home. Mostly the garden here is a mess, but despite the neglect the Lantana is doing beautifully. Gardening snobs might not be fans of Lantana because it is so ubiquitous in this part of the country, but it’s the kind of plant that can make anyone feel like a successful gardener. It’s a great groundcover or perennial for places you don’t want to spend that much time on. Lantana does well in summer or part shade and tolerates forgetful watering. In some parts of the country it can become invasive, but I have never seen it cause a problem here in California.

Since I’m only here for another six or eight weeks I have a limited amount of time to get the garden here straightened out. Luckily my roommates have both expressed an interested in learning more gardening, so expect to see more posts in the coming weeks as I attempt to get them started.

Growing Amaranth for Greens or Grain

Amaranth
Kelly at Planet Green writes about her adventure buying Amaranth greens at her local farmers market in
Try a New Vegetable: Amaranth. It’s true that calling it “pig weed” doesn’t make it sound very appetizing, but those pigs are onto something. Amaranth is tasty and easy to grow. Some varieties are grown for their nutritious greens while others have been bred to produce high yields seeds, which are tasty eaten as porridge or like rice. Still other species of Amaranth are grown for their exotic looking flower heads, particularly the old fashioned variety also known as “love-lies-bleeding.”

Amaranth is an easy to grow summer annual. In fact, in many parts of the country members of the genus grow as weeds as the name “pig weed” indicates. I wouldn’t recommend trying to grow it to harvest the seeds unless you have an exceptionally large garden, but the greens and flowers could both be pleasant additions to the home garden.

(Photo by Andedam used under creative commons license.)