January 7, 2009

Give Orange Flowers a Chance

If an orange (the fruit) is so appealing, why not orange flowers in the garden?

Are we afraid of orange because we don't know how to use it in the garden? My first negative impression was with stiff little marigolds that were planted in single file "tombstone" arrangements in my neighbor's yard when I was a kid.

When I grew up, I started planting gardens of my own. Once upon a time, I had a shade garden where orange impatiens glowed among large and small hostas and ferns. I loved the look.

I didn't think much about orange for many years until I started looking for color combinations that won't fade in full sun.

Throughout hot climates with plenty of sunshine, orange is not uncommon as a house color. Sometimes the color comes from the soil and rocks of the surrounding land. Pale to deep orange-red paints are often used on walls while blue, from pale to deep blue, is used as an accent color on trim work, doors or shutters.

If orange can look good on a house, why not in a garden?

Orange is a color that I've found to work well beside purple, gold, blue, yellow and white. I've seen stunning examples of orange used with silver or bronze foliage plants -- in gardens and in nature.

The autumn season brings on masses of gorgeous orange leaves. I enjoy the warm glow of the fall colors and go out of my way to drive around the countryside to see the best fall displays. Why not enjoy masses of orange blooms in the garden?

As for my own garden, I'm already growing a few orange plants such as coneflowers, crocosmia, roses and gaillardia. I also have the apricot agastache 'Coronado' that I'm using with the blue flowers of salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' and blue buddleia. I've moved a few gaillardia beside red monarda for this next bloom season.

When it comes to color in the garden, I'm getting bolder as I grow older!

Photos and story by Freda Cameron. Click photos to enlarge.
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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