Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Spunky, Punky Celosia

August in Houston.  This is the kind of weather that makes or breaks a gardener.  Frankly, I'd just as soon skip the whole entire month.  We hear rumors that up North, gardeners clean tools and read seed catalogs in the winter.  Well, that's what we'd like to do in August, except we can't.  We have to water.  Sometimes twice a day, for certain finicky container plants.

Celosia 'Punky Red'

But one little celosia has performed yeoman's duty this summer.  It is Celosia spicata and I'm almost certain that the variety is 'Punky Red.'  Almost certain, because (of course) I threw away the seed packet.  My daughter and I planted it in June after the cool-season annuals had conked out.  Here is our highly scientific method, so that you may duplicate our success:

First, seven-year-old assistant pours all the seeds into her hand.  Then, assistant tosses the entire handful in the flowerbed, all in the same spot.  Finally, elder gardener attempts to spread them out a bit with a hand rake.  That's it!  I don't even think we really watered there because for most of the summer, sunflowers clogged up the scene.  Now that the sunflowers have faded, the celosia are sprawling all over everything, entangling themselves with turnera, pavonia and soapwort.  Not too tidy, but it's a bright spot in our August-blasted garden.

Celosia - perfect summer flower

I'm going to get an iced tea now.  Whew!


  1. Sounds very much like August here! To have such pretty blooms in that heat is a saving grace:)

  2. I'll bet those would look great w/my Peruvian pavonia! Next year!