24 July 2008

In the pink of summer heat

Wandering around the garden today despite the stinkin' hot weather--we didn't get Cristobal's rainy fury here, just more tropical temps and humidity--I was struck yet again that for someone who claims to not care for pink, I have a lot of it in the garden. Beginning with the profusion of poppies that are scattered all around the yard--my freerange flowers, I call them, popping up everywhere. They look fine entwined with these huge Asiatic lilies (again, name unknown).

They weave themselves sweetly in amongst the branches of the Nishiki willow, and make a perfect match to the rosy tint in some of the foliage.

A little richer than true pink, this hot fuchsia rose campion always glows in the garden, as do the foxgloves, astilbe and cranesbills in their various shades of rose to pink nearby,

This is 'Sunningdale Variegated' astrantia, a terrific masterwort I discovered last year. Masterworts delight me because of their beautiful, subtly complex flowers. They also flower for a long time and come in different colours; I have two with darker wine-rose flowers, but this one with just hints of rose and green really makes me happy. Butterflies and other pollinators also love it, and that just adds to its charms.

We still haven't identified this Asiatic lily, but to be honest I haven't gone looking for its identity either. It's almost done, and a slow-growing variety--it also is dwarf, growing about 15 inches tall in my garden. It's planted beside a deep purple Japanese Barberry and shows up marvelously against that foliage, too.
Edited to add: Yea for smart bloggers/nursery operators! The erudite George Africa of Vermont Flower Farm and The Vermont Gardener identified my mystery lily as 'Lorelei'.

You'd think it was pastel heaven at our place depending on where you stood. Actually, this photo is from a few days ago, because the delphinium are all standing up. They've since been hit by the delphinium wind/rainstorm so they're a bit bedraggled. But the main pointer here is the big clusters of pink clustered bellflower, a lovely plant and a departure for me from my usual purple or violet or white bellflowers. I love bellflowers of all kinds, though.

This Grootendoorst rose looked pretty sad earlier in the spring, with a lot of tip die-back after some real cold weather. I went at it with the pruners and it responded happily by putting up lots of buds.

I've written of my love for annual ice plants before, with their neon-hot colours. They just make me grin whenever I look at them. Here, the best thing to do with them is plant them in containers where they'll bake hot, or else in the rock garden I'm slowly developing. They catch everyone's eye with their brilliant, starry flowers.

One reason I do love rose, pink or fuchsia is as a foil or flowery counterpoint to orange, blue and chartreuse. It just makes other colours pop so much. In the background of this photo of 'Orange Meadowbrite' echinacea, you can see some Geranium sanguineum. This isn't a colour combination I'd wear, but in the garden, it makes me shout hurray!

Do you have colours you love in the garden that you don't want anywhere else?


  1. Orange is a color I love in the garden but I don't really want it any where else. That Orange Meadowrite Echinacea looks like one I would love to have. I will be looking for it.

    And as to pink. I love pink in the garden.

  2. I really like the photo of the poppies in the branches of the Nishiki! So ethereal looking!

    You're not going to believe this, but ice plant grows year round here and is used as a highway ground cover for the hills that go up next to freeways! Amazing what we take for granted.


  3. So much beauty! You dislike too much pink but the color I dislike in my garden is orange. I love your pink! Want to trade? :-)

    The astrantia is a new cultivar to me. Your campion looks great. I've toyed off and on with the idea of adding it to my garden. I think it would do well in it but I don't think form-wise it would fit in. I think it would stick out like a sore thumb. So I have to enjoy it in other peoples' gardens.

    The poppies in the willow are stunning. That willow has been on my wish list for a while now. If I ever get it, I'm going to toss some poppy seeds around it and see if I can't get something pretty like what you have.

  4. Jodi, pink is my color as well as purple. And I am finding I can mix in bright yellows and a little orange and they do look okay together. Planted en mass, zinnias in all colors look very nice, but I wouldn't want all those colors in my decorating scheme!

    I love those pink poppies and the Grootendoorst rose. That's a new plant to me, but one I am going to look for.

  5. I despise pink in decor, clothing and accessories -- but in the garden? Bring it on!!

    Okay, I'm now officially jealous of your pink poppies, not just your blue ones. Is poppy envy an official syndrome? Keep this up and it will be.

  6. Pink is one of my favorite colors--I like to wear it, and I like my garden to be pink as well. Orange is the color I don't care for as well, but I planted some "Oranges and Lemons" galliardia this year and decided I like a little orange after all.
    Thanks for showing the ice plant; I forgot to plant some this year. I'll have to remember that.

  7. That Asiatic lily is a stunner. I really love it.

  8. Summer was worth waiting for, Jodi. Your garden is stunning. A hint of orange speaks to me in the garden but not in my home.

  9. I love the pinks too, they are so vibrant and lovely. I am learning a lot about flowers just from reading and seeing so many colors and kinds. I have allergies to many flowers, but am learning to plant some of the petunias that a neighbor gave me, in small areas through out the little beds so that it isn't so hard on my nose and breathing.

    Jodi, thank you for being a blooming writer. It is so awesome to visit your blog.

  10. Everything looks so pretty!

    The longer I garden the more colors I'm adding to the mix. I'm always attracted to pick and purple. I like to wear both of those colors too but wouldn't want to decorate my home with purple.

  11. I cannot think of any colors I dislike in the garden, except for the yellow of some mushroom that keeps pushing up out of the soil in my pots. Hm. Lovely flower shots and prose as usual, Jodi.

  12. I love that...was it a masterwort? Beautiful! I'm imagining that it is some cool climate thing that I would have no luck at all with down my way.

    (Oh, and it's disappointing to hear that you are hot and humid! My apologies for sending our weather up your way. I come to your site when I want to feel cool breezes - not humidity! I'm sure that it won't last long, and I hope that you get some nice rain. As for pink - I'm not a huge fan either, but then have a garden filled with rich pink crinums and just about every shade of pink rose. I haven't a clue what is up with that!)

    Your garden looks beautiful.

  13. Every time I see rose campion--I want it. I can not find it and will have to resort to mail order. These are all such pretty blooms. I love them all.

  14. Hi Jodi;

    The Asiatic Lily is named Lorelie and has been around for several years. If you are interested, you can work through the North American Lily Society site to their database and find the background info on it. I have taken many pictures of it because it really is interesting.

    After growing lilium since 1983, my wife and I have given up because of the lily leaf beetle. The small red beetles can be controlled with Neem oil or dormant oil spray which I have written about before. Here in Vermont there are three life cycles that I have established, hence our need to give up growing them and move on to other things.

    George Africa
    The Vermont Gardener
    Vermont Gardens
    Vermont Flower Farm


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