June 21, 2010

Flower Power: Yellow

Yellow flowers light up my garden, shining all day and into the early evening hours. Pale yellow works especially well with purple, blue or white companion plantings. I love the varieties that have long bloom seasons with little maintenance that can handle the full sun and well-drained soil in zone 7b. Of course, to be on my list, these have been reliably deer and rabbit resistant.

Shasta daisy (leucanthemum x superbum)

Leucanthum 'Broadway Lights' ™This shasta daisy begins with pale yellow flowers that turn white. It is perennial in zones 5-9. This shasta dots my garden path. Blooms summer to fall with deadheading and I find the white varieties to also be deer and rabbit resistant.

Green santolina (Santolina pinnata)

The mass of pale yellow buttons on the emerald foliage of green santolina stands up to the heat and humidity better than gray foliage varieties. This drought tolerant perennial is suitable for zones 5-11. The foliage is evergreen, but too much heavy rain can create an interesting "part" in the middle of this mounding plant. I love it in spite of the interesting hairdos!

Blanket flower 'Yellow Queen' (Gaillardia x grandiflora)

Even after the petals fall, I love the yellow pom-pom seed heads. Deadhead to keep the blooms coming and control the self-seeding. Use this drought-tolerant perennial in zones 3-10. It looks especially great when paired with agastache 'Purple Haze' or salvia 'May Night'. Long-blooming all through the summer and into autumn. There are more colors, too!

Tickseed (Coreopsis verticillata 'Creme Brulee')

This little coreopsis would probably rather be in your garden instead of mine! I have moved and divided it several times in the last three years. Nonetheless, it puts up with my indecision and keeps on blooming. It really needs a well-drained location to get through the winters in zones 4-9. I have two new coreopsis that I planted in 2009—both with changing colors. So far, I'm very excited about coreopsis 'Autumn Blush' and coreopsis Big Bang™ 'Redshift'.

Yarrow (Achillea 'Moonshine')

For bright yellow-gold in spring, this achillea puts on a big show when grown en masse. Drought-tolerant achillea likes tough conditions in full sun and lean soil in zones 3-9. In my zone, 'Moonshine' cranks up in late April/early May and blooms well into June when I cut back the stems to the basal foliage.
There are a few more yellow blooms in my garden—such as spring-blooming daffodils, snapdragons and California poppies that are beautiful and ignored by rabbits and deer. Still, your experience may vary with any plants on my list, depending upon the critter population and availability of food in the wild and your neighbor's garden.

If you'd like to read more about my garden in print—here's a note from The Grumpy Gardener at Southern Living Magazine:
There's a great story about your garden in the July 2010 issue of Southern Living! I don't know who wrote it, but obviously the guy's a genius! Everybody should pick up a copy.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

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Defining Your Home, Garden & Travel

Home, garden and travel tips by Freda Cameron

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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