A space oddity of a gomphrena, is the Airy Bachelor Buttons. When it grew in my garden, I didn’t know its full name, only that it was a perennial gomphrena in zone 10 with a very lanky habit, that grew vine-like to the top of my pergola, over 8 feet high, and eventually required the support of a trellis. I’ve been a little afraid of growing it again ever since. Haven’t seen it offered in nurseries lately, but spied it on a recent bike ride growing relatively demure and compact among shrubs, spilling onto the sidewalk.
Rather than meekly watching it grow to the top of a pergola again, I can imagine lightly clipping it to spill out of a large, tall container, whose sides it would ring like a ruby-clouded nebula. Something spiky — a phormium, agave, yucca, etc. — would be ideal holding the center. The gomphrena would require similar amounts of sun and water, as in plenty of the first, very little of the second. I may have to go back and beg for some cuttings.
Annie’s Annuals & Perennials sometimes carries this gomphrena, which gives masses of material for cut flowers, both fresh and dried.