Friday, June 11, 2010

Pretty in Pink

My favorite color is sky blue . . . just in case you were wondering.  Gardeners know, though, that finding plants with a true blue flower is extremely difficult.  One of my first ventures into gardening several years ago was to create a small shade garden at our previous home.  'Endless Summer' hydrangeas were relatively new on the market at that time, and when I saw them in a magazine, I knew they were just what I wanted.  I was going to have flowers of blue amidst the green hostas and ferns!

There's just one problem with this picture--other than the season I first purchased them, my 'Endless Summers' have been . . . pink!  I was amused when I read Racquel's post about her hydrangeas and how happy she was to finally have a pink one.  Obviously, I have the opposite problem.  Our area has very neutral soil, which is good for growing most things, but hydrangeas like acid soil.  My half-hearted efforts this spring to amend the soil to a more acidic ph weren't enough to produce the blue blooms I wanted.  But that's okay, because my favorite color in the garden is actually pink.

I've become a little more daring in recent years, adding some yellows, reds, and (gasp!) even a few oranges to various parts of the garden, but pink is still the predominant color you'll find here.  On the numerous shopping excursions I make each spring, you'll usually find me with a cart full of many pink annuals.  The old standby geraniums--okay, pelargoniums; old habits die hard--are still favorites of mine for several containers.  This 'Americana Light Pink Splash' is my very favorite.

Pink isn't a one-trick pony, either, with various hues available from this delicate pale pink of some double impatiens . . .

. . . to the hot pink shades of these variegated double impatiens.

Hot pink single impatiens paired with a pinkish (or is it red??) caladium.

'Royal Magenta' Supertunias are really more hot pink/fuschia than magenta.

Pink geraniums again paired with hot pink verbena.

There is the dusty pink of a rather tattered-looking Gerbera daisy . . .

. . . or the pale pink almost obscured by the red veins of this caladium.

But even if I didn't buy so many annuals, there would still be pink in my garden.  'Appleblossom' yarrow keeps spreading and spreading each year.

Salvia 'Eveline' is a pretty alternative to the usual purple perennial salvias, even though its blooms don't last as long as its purple cousins.  Too bad . . . I could see myself creating a miniature Prairie Lurie with more of these plants (copyright credits to Frances, the proprietor of Faire Lurie).

 The original flowers here at the Prairie, the hollyhocks, are not doing so well this year for some reason.  Only one--pink, of course!--is blooming so far. Perhaps some overzealous weeding or the attempts to eradicate encroaching poison ivy have done in some of these heirloom plants.

The Butterfly Garden, on the other hand is thriving . . . and looking quite chaotic, to be truthful.  Volunteers have re-seeded themselves all over this newest garden, including this bee balm from Beckie.  She told me it was a red cultivar . . . hmmm, this looks hot pink to me.

And, of course, I couldn't have a post about pink flowers without including the famous Practically Perfect Plox Pilosa, better known throughout Blogland as Gail's PPPP.

Or the almost as famous pink Penstemon X.  Both it and the PPPP are doing well in the Butterfly Garden despite having to duke it out with nigella, cosmos, and other volunteers.

But the piece d' resistance right now, the pinnacle of pink perfection, is this new Asiatic lily.  The old memory cells just aren't what they used to be (just ask Tena), and I could have sworn I purchased a yellow or orange lily last fall.  But I'm so glad I didn't!   You'll be seeing more of this example of pink pulchritude in a later post when the rest of the lilies are in bloom. 

And once it's fully in bloom, this new hot pink salvia 'Wendy's Wish' will also get more exposure. Reminiscent in form to the popular 'Black and Blue' salvia, this new cultivar somersaulted into my cart the moment I spotted it on my last plant shopping trip.

There are other pink blooms in my garden that for one reason or another didn't make it into this post, and of course, there will be later pink blooms, most notably the purple coneflowers, which naturally are not purple at all but rather pink.  But I think you get the idea . . . So, what color predominates in your garden?

Gee, I don't know about you, but all this pink is suddenly making me feel all "girlie" . . . I think I'll go curl my hair and put on some lipstick before I head out into the garden.


  1. That is a lot of pink. Most pretty and a girly color indeed!:)

  2. I chuckled at your last sentence. I can just see you curling your hair and putting on lipstick before going into the garden. tee hee... That pink B&B salvia is a keeper for sure. Tena told me she bought one too. I am green. Which is the main color in my garden.

  3. You're making me a fan of pink with all these great photos. Pink in my gardens has tended to be strong and big and clashing (redbuds, a pink dogwood, cherry tree), but a more delicate use of pink perennials would add a lot. Your post has me admiring and thinking.... thanks!

  4. HA Rose, like Lisa, the thought of hair curling and lipstick made me guffaw. Pink is a wonderful color for the garden, so many flowers only come in pink. I love your lily and in your defense, many times they are not what is claimed on the package or catalog or tag. Speaking of lilies, we are looking out at a real mixture of colors between the daylilies and liliums, but a particularly fetching combo of dark orange and light pink asiatics is the eye's delight at the moment. It looks fabulous, really. Thanks for the link and hooray for the Prairie Lurie! Love it! We also grow Eveline and wish she were more floriferous here as well. :-)

  5. Nice pinks Rose. I've never seen a double impatien like yours. How pretty!

    In my garden I have a big mix of color and not any particular one.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  6. Love the last line Rose......ha! made me smile.

    I must say I am really surprised. I never had you down as a 'nearly, all pink girl' I had put you more in the pale lilacs, soft blues etc. Shows you I am not very good at guessing games.....

    A lovely display Rose......and Poppi would love your garden with it's predominant pink blooms.

    Lilacs and white are for me. Sadly, so many plants have re-seeded and I have pink everywhere. I have to say, I personally, am not to comfortable with so much pink. I have a lot of digging out to do in autumn.

    Your containers are the caladiums (something I have never had the courage to grow).

    Great post....I will leave you to complete your make-up before you go out into the garden.....

  7. Pink is my favorite too, Rose. I love that last salvia. I will be looking for it but my local garden centers are not real up-to-date in what they stock.

    You asked how I got those 6 ft. tall foxgloves. Truthfully, I like them to stay 3-4 ft tall but these were planted in partial shade in very loose, highly organic soil (lasagna bed) Of course last year was very cool and wet so that helped I'm sure. When they get so tall they tend to fall over if not staked.

  8. Tina, I didn't mention that many of the pinks are paired with purple, my other favorite garden color.

    Lisa, I just came back in from an hour and half in the garden, and I'm so sweaty and dirty, no amount of lipstick could make me look good:) In fact, I don't even wear lipstick:) Yes, Tena loved that pink salvia, too; we were "plant enablers" for her:)

    Laurie, I don't know why I started with so much pink--I just like pastels, I guess. Thanks for visiting!

    Frances, Most people would guffaw at the thought of me getting all gussied up to work outside:) After a little time in the heat and humidity this morning, I look more like a make-over waiting to happen. I love the 'Eveline' but sure wish she bloomed more.

    Susie, I love the double impatiens; they look like miniature roses.

    Cheryl, You had me pegged right--I am really a much more "blue" person, not a girly-girl at all. Poppi and my granddaughter would get along so well--she's a fan of pink, too. Right now I need a shower more than make-up:)

    Marnie, Thanks for the tips on the foxgloves. I planted a few a few years ago and thought they would come back, but no such luck. I really do love them. This new hot pink salvia is gorgeous; we'll see how it does this year.

  9. A very pretty in pink post today Rose. I like all the shades of pink you have in your garden. lol, thanks for the link love too! :)

  10. Rose, A pink extravaganza for sure - you have such diversity in your garden! A belated happy birthday to you - hope it was fantastic!

  11. I do like pink in the garden, but for me, the brighter & hotter, the better. It's hard to say what color predominates in my garden, sometimes it's yellow, sometimes it's blue, or purple or crimson. What I really like is pairing pink and crimson. Sort of like that second Caladium of yours.

  12. If it wasn't the pH level that turned the Hydrangea pink, perhaps it was the peer pressure. :)

    I grow the little double pink impatiens, too, and love their blooms in the garden or in a container. It's such a bonus that they bloom all season.

  13. Hi Rose. You have some gorgeous pinks blooming in your garden. I love geraniums and your Pink Splash is so beautiful.

  14. Lots of lovely pink in your garden Rose! That's something we have in common - blue's my favorite, and pink is a close second. It sounds like we're at a similar color-in-the-garden stage too, both adding yellows, reds, and (gasp) even oranges to the garden (all of which look nice with. . . blue!)

  15. Beautiful photos! I love pink in the garden also.

  16. I'm a big fan of pink in the garden too, although in most other respects I don't like it. I guess the garden is an exception! My favorite color for the garden would probably be purple, but blue and pink are close seconds.

  17. I love pink and the new pink lily and oh, my gosh that wonderful salvia~Wendy's Wish! It's now on my wish list! I am so glad you have PPPP and PenX in bloom~they are just about gone here. Thanks for the link! xxgail

  18. I enjoyed looking your gorgeous flowers in shades of pink and lavender. Very beautiful!

  19. I love pink flowers too. Husband keeps trying to get me to buy bright orange and red but I always favour the pink. And yours are very beautiful.

  20. I also like the sky blue but as you say there is limited choice.
    The pink is lovely though and you have a blue pot!
    I do love your photos.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  21. So many lovely pink blooms, Rose. Your garden must be a real picture! My soil is not acidic either and although I have tried to make Hydrangeas blue in the past by adding supplements I now leave them to their own devices and just enjoy their 'pinkness' :)

    I particularly like your Appleblossom Yarrow and I always love Geraniums...sorry Pelargoniums :)


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