Sunday, September 11, 2011

amaranth and grapevines

Check out these pails of beautiful amaranth that Shanti at Deacon Vale Farm grew in her garden!  She harvested these for me a couple weeks ago so I could use them for some floral decor at a Mayne Island wedding.  Aren't they just the most gorgeous thing you've ever seen?!  I feel so lucky that she's growing this wonderful stuff and is willing to supply me with it!

This amazing red amaranth looked so fabulous in a silvery coloured metal big bundle of it. Too bad that I was so busy I forgot to take a photo of it!

"Hot Biscuits" is a beauty. A close-up look shows all the little seeds. Not only is amaranth stunning in floral arrangements, this plant is a healthy cereal grain food too! It's a lot of work to gather the grain but still doable.
You gotta love a plant that can be used as decor and is a nutritious food too : ) (Not only the seeds, but I've also grown it for the young leaves that are a spinach-like salad green too.)

For more info on amaranth, Saltspring Seeds has some on their website. And they sell the seeds too.  

So anyway, this amaranth was destined for a fun creative project: decoration for a wedding ceremony arbor that the groom built of driftwood found on the beaches of Mayne Island.  Grapevine, hops vine and green tassels amaranth were draped along the top of the arbor and bunches of hot biscuits were in containers on either side.....

The lovely grapevines for the arbor also came from Shanti that day.  With the back of the truck all full of amaranth and dahlias I had to coax (ummm..wrestle?) the vines into the front with me.  A fun ride home.

The flower clusters of the hops (also often called cones or strobiles) are always so pretty with the grapevine.

It was a smokin' hot afternoon and I was so grateful that the vines didn't wilt too much.  I was a bit worried.
They were cut a couple days earlier so that I could condition them for a while by submerging them a few feet in water in a rubbermaid bin.  They soaked it up and it really made a difference.  They wilt quickly if put in the sun for a few hours right after cutting.  
And isn't that heart on the ground where the couple stood so sweet?!

The long view of the ceremony site.  A sheep field overlooking Campbell Bay.  What a beautiful spot for a wedding!!


  1. Hello Christina, This was a beautiful decoration for the wedding. I love your blog and reading about your gardening adventures...your neighborhood is lucky to be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour!

  2. Hi Katherine, It's so nice to see you here and to know that you're interested in my adventures...really glad you found my blog : ) thanks for saying hi!