Ilene, aka therockwhisperer, identified the plant as an amaranth, the species being Love Lies Bleeding. She said she has been trying for years to get one started. And here I have cut the plants down! The weeds we have in the pastures are also from the amaranth family and they take over if left. They have sharp stickers and make millions of seeds; it's a terrible plant to have in a vegetable garden. Maybe this plant wouldn't have been so aggressive but I just couldn't take the chance. There are a lot of good pictures of its blooms on the internet and I'll admit, it's an interesting plant.
So thanks, Ilene, for sharing your knowledge. Wish you could have had these plants.
And, thanks for all who commented about the mystery plant.
After reading some latter comments, I wanted to add that the flower in my header photo is called a Spider Lily. They reseed every year, although I've never been able to get one started from purchased seeds.
In early summer, I planted a packet of flower seeds of garden favorites. The print on the packet was so small I couldn't make out the contents. Much to my surprise, it seemed every seed came up. One plant in particular grew tall, about four feet, in fact, and finally has put out its flower. I have no idea what it is. Maybe someone could help me identify it?
I'll wait a few days to see if anyone knows what it is, then it's coming out, for two reasons: 1) the first being, how dreadful it would be if it is an invasive plant, to have its seeds spread all over the vegetable garden! It really resembles a gross weed we have in the cattle lot and pastures. 2) I grow flowers for their blooms, not for big leaves and thick stems. The pictures make these blooms look larger than they actually are.
All three of my daughters like to have their hands in the dirt. The oldest one and her husband put aside their teaching jobs when summer comes, to raise vegetables for the farmers' market and to sell boxes of mixed vegetables to people who order them. They also have a "you pick it" blueberry patch. The second daughter leaves her webmaster position at the local university to roam over the pastures and woodlands, each weekend, searching for wildflowers and collecting seeds to plant in her yard, and documenting them on her Flicker page. Daughter number three takes her weekends and after-school hours and has started a "cut flower" garden and sells them at the farmers' market. Her activities are shared on her Facebook page, including how she unloaded a 200 pound tiller by herself, quite a fete for a 100 pound woman. I don't know much about Facebook, but I think it goes by the name of Andrea's Garden.
Maybe their love of gardening comes from the Farmer and me. We were both raised on a farm, working on the land and helping with the family harvests. We always had a big vegetable garden when they were small. They still remember picking up potatoes in the hot June sun, and just when we thought they were all picked up, their daddy would plow through the rows again, exposing a few more potatoes to pick up.
I love planting seeds, waiting anxiously for them to germinate, pop up little green leaves through the ground, and watching them grow to bloom. Of course all seeds don't do so well and my thumb seems to be brown rather than green. I have better luck with flowers grown from bulbs.
This Asiatic lily has spread and is probably three feet across the top. It will need to be divided this fall.
On Mother's Day, Andrea brought this wreath to me. Isn't this a clever idea: a stryofoam base, covered with empty flower seed packets and a pair of gardening gloves.
We have started the hay season. The steps up into my tractor seem to be higher this year, and the constant back and forth bouncing over the rough field make the old muscles tired when evening comes. Fall away, fall away; when you're happy, the years just fall away.
Recently I heard a song, Fall Away, which made an impression on me. These are some of the words: "...when you're happy the years fall away, but when you're blue, days go by 'a draggin..." I must be terribly happy; this year is rapidly falling away!
Our winter was not so cold this year and we both made it through with not so much as a cold. I had dreaded my "new" job,
thinking I would have to stand out in the snow and ice when I waited at the gate while the farmer put out hay for the cows. But I had a heated side-by-side to sit in while I waited, and we had no snow anyway.
Now we're a month into spring; the early garden seeds have been planted, irises, foxglove, daisies, and columbine are in bloom; the third flock of chickens for the new year have been started. We've sent calves to market and vaccinated cows and small calves.
There was a rash of cattle rustling in our county during the winter, which made all the farmers around us watchful and uneasy. The farmer decided to use branding on the cattle as a means of identification. (I hate having to be a part of this.)
There are a lot of new baby calves.
I try to spend an hour or two in the afternoons to work on the quilting project, until I hear the farmer's footsteps coming down the hallway, and he asks me if I'd "like" to do this or that. lol I'm on the 9th row of twelve rows.
They're finished; 120, six and one-half inch, paper pieced, scrappy blocks.
Each block is made up of 37 pieces, small enough to use all those little scraps I've saved from other quilting projects. Paper piecing makes it possible to achieve perfectly straight seams when sewing such small pieces of fabric.
I had wondered if the quilt would look too "busy" or a jumbled mass of color, but in my opinion it's one of the prettiest I've ever pieced.
The block pattern is called the pineapple block; I suppose it's because of the way the pieces radiate out from the center square.
This is where I got the pattern, inside the April, 1999, American Patchwork and Quilting magazine. It is called Scrap Apple since it's made from scraps. And, as you can see from this picture, my quilt is not finished, only the center part; it will have a border with appliqued flowers and vines. So I still have much work before I can really say "It's finished!" I'm getting a real lesson in patience!