Not long after Christmas... before the decorations are even put away, the seed catalogs start taking up a large portion of our mailbox each day. It's never too early to start to dream about the coming Summer's gardens.
The cold days of January- as the garden boxes lay bare... safely tucked in beneath a blanket of nourishing compost-
are the perfect time for immersing myself in dreams of color.
I sift through the pages of the catalogs... thinking of the spaces that I will have to fill when the weather is warm enough to once again work the soil.
I think about the flowers that I started in the greenhouse last season and decide which of those I'd like to repeat. Zinnias, of course... always zinnias. They are just about the happiest flower I can think of.
The big winner of last summer was the gomphrena (globe amaranth).
Every few days I would pick a handful and bring them into the house. When fresh, gomphrena already have the feel of a dried flower - so, drying them is just a matter of waiting for the moisture to leave the stems. This is one flower that needs not be hung up to dry, but can simply lie in a pile til dry. Each handful that I picked was added to this hanging...