Warning

Garden View

Garden View

When I am an old garden I shall wear purple

With a red plant that doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.

–With apologies to Jenny Joseph (read full poem “Warning“).

In my dream garden there are blues of every sort, purples and greens. A few genteel spots of soft yellow, refined and restrained, break up the space. Accents of sophisticated whites highlight the borders.

Iris germanica 'Immortality'

Iris germanica ‘Immortality’

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke'

Baptisia ‘Purple Smoke’

Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper)

Isotoma fluviatilis (Blue Star Creeper)

Iris In Southern Side Path

Iris In Southern Side Path

Iris germanica

Iris germanica

Japanese Iris

Japanese Iris

Salvia nemorosa 'May Night' (Hardy Sage)

Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’ (Hardy Sage)

But this spring I am loving the over-the-top combinations brought on by a happenstance purchase of dark red snapdragons late last autumn. (A single pink stow-away found its way here too). I grew up believing pink and red did not go together any more than purple and red.

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

My mantra for this garden always has been based on peace, calm and contemplation. But every morning when I peek out I smile at the riot of color. It is over-the-top. When I am working outdoors the word gaudy bubbles into my thoughts, but I cannot stop smiling.

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in Meditation Circle

Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) in Meditation Circle

When my husband and I take breakfast, lunch and supper on the screened porch overlooking the garden, we sigh in amazement and smile. A garden that makes us smile—what more?

Northern Border

Northern Border

Salvia nemorosa 'May Night' (Hardy Sage) and Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’ (Hardy Sage) and Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox)

Salvia nemorosa 'May Night' (Hardy Sage), Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox), and Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) and Iris

Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’ (Hardy Sage), Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox), and Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon) and Iris

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) and Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) and Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) and Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) and Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) and Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

Phlox divaricata (Woodland phlox) and Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)

So what of this outrageous color? The garden will be 14 years old at the end of May. It is a teenager, not grown old at all, just finding itself.

Stachys byzantina (Lamb's Ear) In Southern Side Path

Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) In Southern Side Path

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle

29 thoughts on “Warning

  1. Cathy

    What more indeed! The circle looks gorgeous with all that colour, and the border with the phlox is just stunning! Like a teenager it may just be a phase it is going through and one day it may calm down again, but in the meantime, enjoy! (And have I told you how lovely your irises are?!)

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Cathy! I have enjoyed the irises this year–my favorite time is when they’re blooming. The phlox is a passalong that just started blooming this week.

      Reply
  2. Chloris

    No wonder your garden makes you smile. Those red Antirhinnums are wonderful. It is great to try new colour combinations. Sometimes ones that happen by chance are the best. Your garden is looking fantastic, those irises are superb.

    Reply
  3. Frogend_dweller

    Those dark red Antirrhinums and Phlox are great together, especially your last shot with that kick of blue. I can imagine sitting out admiring them. Lovely north border too.

    Reply
  4. rickii

    I’m smiling too. I try to take my cue from Mom Nature. She often combines pink and orange, purple and red, etc., etc….and she seldom makes mistakes.

    Reply
  5. Christina

    Smile, enjoy, that’s what a garden should be about! Your bright snapdragons are fantastic, but they are annuals so you can return to more sophisticated blue and white when they are finished. I think 2015 is going to be the year of the Iris in my garden, maybe in yours it’s going to be the year you enjoyed red!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The garden is at its peak and as you suggest, it will be remembered for the red snapdragon (among other things of course). Saturday I purchased some white Angelonia to replace them since they don’t like the heat anyway. Temperatures are gong way up this week. I’m glad you’re enjoying your irises.

      Reply
  6. Cathy

    Your marvellous snapdragons have made me smile too – not to mention those glorious irises. The salvia really makes both come alive (and sing!)

    Reply
  7. P&B

    Sooooo lovely! Even for a short period of time because of the heat as you mentioned above, it’s always worth every single minutes you put in.

    Reply
  8. Donna@Gardens Eye View

    That northern border is quite striking and I love the pop of the meditation circle….I also have reds and pinks mixed especially when the Sweet William blooms…it really is quite different and quite lovely to mix these colors…and red and purple do also mix…I have a red rose among my purple spring flowers in my wall garden…call me a crazy old garden lady!

    Reply
  9. bittster

    I know it’s late but I just had to say how much I love these photos. Gaudy and vibrant and so much fun. It’s great that the garden can surprise you like that and also that you’re open to seeing it for the marvelous explosion of spring that it is!

    Reply

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