Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Reds in the Garden

Reds and pinks are not colors I generally use either in our home or on my person, but in the garden, well, that's another story.

From pale soft pinks to the radiant and passionate and on to the boldness of a deep red, there is plenty of room for this vast range of color. And from flowers to foliage, it offers a dramatic dimension to our outdoor space.

Early spring yields welcome combinations as this bearded iris mimics the pink of the Salvia officinalis 'Tricolor', while the distant Allium hoist and peak their heads in balance.

The June time frame finds the garden falling all over itself as these peonies play gleefully among the evergreens, sedum, lilies and beech tree. In the distance and below the slope of the hillside, the Gleditsia triacanthos 'Sunburst' casts its golden rays above and about the landscape.
Yellow leaves of the Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Worcester Gold' complement the climbing Rosa 'Summer Wine'. The blossoms emerge as deep coral and gradually transition into a softer hue of coral-pink with shading to a gold center. With age, just like wine, she continues to evolve, but onto a cooler pink. . . one plant with a remarkable 'kaleidoshow' of color.

This sweet and charming old-fashioned Phlox paniculata 'Robert Poore', which graces the edge of a pebble path, stands over 3' tall with Clematis 'Ernest Markham' as it's backdrop, a vine that offers flowers of magenta for most of the summer.

Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diablo' (Ninebark) unfolds a rich maroon foliage in the spring and darkens to an outstanding burgundy that is steadfast through all of summer's ray. Clusters of pale pink blossoms yield to red fall berries, a bird's delight. Daylily 'Lavender Deal' (Hemerocallis) and the electric yellow-green leafed shrub, Hypericum androsaemum, enjoy the companionship.

A supporting formation for R. 'Queen Elizabeth' is this easy-to-care-for shrub, Spiraea x bumalda 'Anthony Waterer'. Give it a hair cut once a year and its gifts provide a spectrum of burgundy, reds and orange from early spring to late fall.

One final thing: walk with me to this section. Can you smell it. . . that seductive fragrance you are experiencing right now? It is this exotic Stargazer lily. A garden should not be without it.