Carmine gomphrena perseveres all summer, bringing
in pollinators and in this case song birds too.
is not a word I grew up with describing color. By
definition, it is a vivid crimson. The QIS Carmine
gomphrena is a prime example. If you were partnering up
a color, an intense yellow gold would be perfect, so
send in a dozen or so American goldfinches to eat not
only gomphrena seeds, but zinnias, too.
spectacle has been happening several times a day,
creating what many gardeners would consider a National
Geographic moment. James, my color design guru son,
planted three beds fairly close in the Old Town
community of North Columbus, Ga. So, while you might
think I have been describing a backyard habitat, it is
actually street-side close to parking and shops.
feature the QIS Carmine gomphrena, Uproar Rose zinnias,
Superbena Stormburst verbena, and Profusion yellow
zinnias. While he designed the beds, itís Mother
Nature who is creating the spectacle via a feeding
frenzy. Most of us are simply thrilled to see American
goldfinches at feeders, much less our plants.
tell you that if you are mesmerized by hummingbirds
coming to your salvias and cupheas, you will be in total
ecstasy when birds come to pick off your mature seeds.
To be honest, the flowers were so pretty and persevering
we didnít realize there were any seeds ripe for the
gomphrena is known botanically as Gomphrena haageana
with the common name Rio Grande globe amaranth. The
species is native to Texas, New Mexico and Mexico, so it
has a great tough DNA. It is offered in Carmine and
three other colors from PanAmerican Seed. Imagine 24- to
30-inch-tall carmine colored blooms being adorned with
one of Americaís most beautiful birds of bright gold
and black. Of course, there is a caveat: American
goldfinches would need to be residents in your area
during this time.
Rose zinnia has now done it all. It may be as close to
perfection as an annual flower can be. It provides cut
flowers, brings in butterflies, hummingbirds and as now
documented the feeding of American goldfinches. You know
when garden centers sell a transplant of a tall zinnia
it must be exceptional. The good news for you is they
are easy to find online in the seed market.
Rose is a large dahlialike flower borne on 30-inch tall
stems. Expect the plants to reach about 3 feet wide, so
give adequate spacing when planting. These zinnias look
like the quintessential cottage garden flower partnered
with rudbeckias, coreopsis, Shasta daisies and of course
the gomphrena mentioned in these beds. Uproar Rose
zinnias also excel artistically as the thriller plant in
designer mixed containers.
and zinnias perform best in full sun with fertile,
well-drained soil. Part-sun will still work but blooms
will be more prolific in full sun. When working soil,
incorporate 2 pounds of fertilizer per 100 square feet
of bed space. I like to use a 12-6-6 ratio when I can
easily find it, but a balanced one that contains a
slow-release form of nitrogen will do just fine. Work in
the fertilizer and 3 to 4 inches of organic matter,
tilling 6- to 8-inches deep.
am touting QIS Carmine gomphrenas the midsummer report
for Truffula Pink is outstanding in performance and
pollinators and the Ping Pong series is simply stunning.
This gives you three choices of gomphrena species to
partner with Uproar Rose or your favorite garden
flowers. I canít promise a spectacle like we are
experiencing in Columbus, Ga., but I can assure you