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Gardener's Notebook: Magazines let gardeners dream

Blissfully imagining what it would be fun to plant this year
Time to finally make garden plan a reality. (File Photo)

YORKTON - Okay—I know I’m not the only one going through gardening magazines, blissfully imagining what it would be fun to plant this year! I would bet that you have been doing the same thing! It’s fun to dream, isn’t it! I think our garden plan is in place, but the containers always give a chance to be extra-creative, don’t they!

I really like the idea of a container with red blooms for the Year Of The Garden, and one plant that would be an eyecatcher is red celosia, such as “Fresh Look Red”.

Let’s chat about celosia for a minute. If you are not familiar with it, celosia is an annual flower, best known for the colorful, fluffy, long-lasting plumes that add a real pop to container plantings.

Celosia should be started indoors, so we are late for this year, but luckily it is popular when the bedding plants are in the greenhouses! Plant them outdoors when all danger of frost is past. They can be placed about eight inches apart.

Celosia loves the heat, so if we have a sunny location for our container of celosia, it will be very happy. It appreciates good drainage, as well, so whether we are planting it in a container or in a flower bed, that should be a consideration. Keep in mind that they don’t mind dry conditions, so we shouldn’t over-water them, and we should be sure that they aren’t sitting with wet feet.

For the most part, celosia is very care-free: not prone to diseases or pests.

The celosia family has a lot of variety in bloom color, ranging from yellows, oranges, reds, pinks and purples. There’s variety in the flower shape, too. Many gardeners are probably most familiar with the plume type of celosia, (sometimes gardeners call it the woolflower) but there are also some very unusual shapes that would be great conversation-starters in our gardens or in a container on our patios.

There is the wheat variety, which has blooms that are more definite in shape almost like wheat stalks. They’re lovely, but if you’re looking for fun flowers, read on! Celosia comes in a

cockscomb variety, and these indeed look like a cockscomb, with vivid colors and even some variegations. My darling Mom, who always encouraged trying new flowers in the garden, got me a cockscomb celosia for my garden patch. It was beautiful, a vibrant red and purple. The flower head lasted a very long time, and every day when I ran out to look at my patch, I was always so excited about that plant!

And if you have ever heard celosia called “brain flower” or “brain celosia”, that is because there is a variety with a shape that looks exactly like pictures of the brain, with fascinating corrugated blooms. This type of celosia is also called coral celosia. Imagine striking plants like this in a mass planting, they’d be showstoppers!

A little factoid, celosia belongs to the amaranth family, the same flamboyant family that gives us Love Lies Bleeding and Joseph’s Coat. And did you know that in an ounce of celosia seed, there can be as many as 43,000 seeds! I wonder who counted them all!

Please see what the horticultural society is doing by visiting our website at Our next meeting is May 18, 7PM at the Yorkton Public Library, please use the back door. This is the Iron Gardener Event!

Thank you to our friends at Yorkton This Week for all their work.

Have a great week!