East Hennepin, Amaranth and Dahlias

There is a garden I drive by daily in Minneapolis that I love because it's walls can hardly contain it.  Giant stalks of Amaranth tower over the sidewalk and busy road and Charlotte is happy to share her knowledge and materials.  She called me after I dropped a card and told me about her garden.  She often shares her flowers with anyone who asks, providing plants and blooms for weddings and now me and my project.  Charlotte is a 'rock-hound'.  She and her husband travel the US looking for geodes and agates and I believe her garden is a love for being outside and exploring.  Her yard is also littered with rocks, potted plants she propagates in her greenhouse.    Its a magical place where paths quickly dissolve into masses of greenery, sculpture and nature along a very busy thoroughfare.
We still haven't had a hard frost (although I think it's imminent) and Charlotte said 'it was my lucky day' I could come and 'take it all' although I do not think it's possible...but i try!
Charlotte helps me will the back of my car and talk about dye gardens.  Her idea, a great one is to collaborate with the Textile Center and create a dye garden on site 'killing two birds'.  What a great project for next summer.
My favorite discovery- dahlias.  Meaty, bright and the best color yet.  Amaranth- so much to use. After a little reading, i find that amaranth is a grain you can eat, a fiber to make paper with and...with this much- it must create good color.   I think I  make several dye batches, freeze some and dry out the rest of the stalks to use later. 

Emily Donovan