Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Gardening: My Bold, Brillant, Frothy Garden Plants

After seeing browns, tans, grays and wheat colors all winter it is time for some dazzling, splashes of color. I painted one section of my garden from memory the other day and it doesn't look like this at all yet because it's still winter outside. Like a hibernating bear my garden will wake up and jump out to be seen and stay out of it's way, please. It might push you aside.

On the far, top left is the orange trumphet flower vine. These can be beautifully trained into standards. I feel these plants aren't used enough in gardens. Are they too simple? What is it? They have deep green, glossy foliage for extra garden points and very exotic, tubular flowers.

To the right of the trumphet vine is a plum colored ninebark tree. Second option could be a smoke bush or sand cherry tree. Same glorious color foliage. Below the ninebark is the soft yellow torch flower and purple lupines. Same shape flowers just different colors and it makes this section look like two different cheerleading teams performing together. Another option for the torch lily, but same soft yellow color, is to have moonshine yarrow with flat flowers.

Moving down to the rosy plum lebaron dahlia which blooms til frost. It needs staking as the flowers are large and heavy. The orange is a brilliant double daylily (from an old neighbor) flowing down into a soft yellow pool of lady's mantle. To the left of the orange dayliles are hardy Johnson blue hardy geraniums with their rather lacy foliage gracing the edges.

On the right side directly above the orange daylilies are Wyoming cannas for it's plum/brown foliage and red president cannas standing guard in the back. I cut the orange flowers off of the Wyoming cannas until the daylilies have stopped blooming. Then I let them put their orange blossoms out. To the right of the red cannas is a dark purple clematis.

Each section of the long border has the same colors, but in different plant and leaf combinations. Example for the dark purple clematis I use the same color in the black knight butterfly bush. The possibilities are exciting and never ending.

I do love foliage, but there is an old-fashioned part of me that loves the blousy, overflowing with flowers border, too. In this long section I try to maintain a balance between the two. Interesting foliage and buckets of flowers.

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