Sunflowers: The garden’s late-summer stars

At the start of summer, I thought I would put aside my disdain for amaranth — so coarse, so Victorian — and grow whole stands of it so that I might condescend to change my view of this seedy annual.

Instead, the amaranth spurned me. No wonder people also call it love-lies-bleeding. The tiny black grains of amaranth seed germinated in their pots, but they never seemed to develop beyond a nascent stage, to a point where I could transplant them. I had started them too late, and the dry summer didn’t help.

I consoled myself by planting other heat-loving annuals: tithonias, zinnias and good old sunflowers. All three are doing quite nicely, which may have something to do with their natural kinship.

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TUESDAYS-

SUNDAYS

The Mercer Society Gift and Plant Shoppe

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays at 400 Main, Old Town Spring; 281-651-5475, themercersociety.org. Sales proceeds benefit flood-damaged Mercer Botanic Gardens.

SATURDAY

Bonsai

With Galveston County Master Gardener Clyde Holt. 9-11 a.m. at Galveston County AgriLife Extension, 4102-B Main, La Marque; register at 281-309-5065 or aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/index.html. $25 fee to cover materials.

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