February 22, 2013

The Orange Garden

It's not a secret. I'm not embarrassed by it. I have an orange section in the deer resistant garden—seldom mentioned on the blog because it's so darn difficult to photograph the plantings together as one unified design. When one bloom looks great, another is declining.


To the left of the plants in the photo below, is the red and white garden seen here. The yellow St John's Wort divides the two color themed gardens. Not because I planned it that way, but because I didn't want to move this glorious shrub. Bees literally bathe in the pollen of the St John's blooms. It self-sows minimally and I'm always scouting for seedlings to use in other sections of the deer resistant garden.

The orange garden is on the east side of the house, receiving full sun until very late in the evening during the summer. This garden is watered only when I'm establishing new plants. All plants are drought tolerant.

The plants are shown in order of bloom.

The orange garden early in the season. May 12, 2012.
Blanket flower (gaillardia). May 2012.

Blanket flower (gaillardia) is allowed to self-sow and can easily take over a section of the garden, so I thin and transplant seedlings. These plants are attractive to pollinators, so all the named varieties in my garden have crossed to the point that I cannot give you a specific name. If it's an orange blanket flower, I plant it here. Deer and rabbit resistant. Drought tolerant with a long bloom season. Zones 3-9.

Orange milkweed (asclepias) is a host for Monarch butterflies. May 2012.
Milkweed (asclepias 'Gay Butterflies' mix) is a host plant for Monarch butterflies. This patch of milkweed has been here since 2005 and continues to return and bloom each year. Deer and rabbit resistant and drought tolerant. Zones 3-9.

Coneflowers (echinacea 'Sundown') may be nibbled by both deer and rabbits. I've had great luck with minimal damage until late summer. These orange coneflowers tend to fade to the pink-purple color as the blooms age. I've transplanted these at least four times and they continue to perform. Drought tolerant and suitable for zones 4-9.

Orange coneflowers (echinacea). June 2012.
Bronze fennel behind coneflowers.
Bronze fennel (foeniculum vulgare 'purpureum') is a great swallowtail butterfly host plant, although praying mantis also love it—and they eat butterflies. I grow it for the foliage, too. If the deer don't deadhead the yellow blooms for you, do it yourself! Otherwise, it will self-sow everywhere. Drought tolerant. Zones 4-9.

Crocosmia spreads quickly and needs to be divided every few years when the corms push the plants out of the ground. I love the foliage as much as the blooms. Occasionally, a deer may nibble the blooms. Rabbits don't seem to bother this plant. Drought tolerant. Zones 5-8.

Crocosmia in full bloom (looking uphill). June 2012.
Lantana 'Miss Huff'. July 2012.

Lantana 'Miss Huff' is still getting established and was late to bloom in 2012. It can grow into a huge shrub when it overwinters for several years. Butterflies love the flowers for nectar. Drought tolerant, deer and rabbit resistant. I'm in zone 7b and this plant is best for zones 7-10.

Marigolds are self-sown from seeds in the past, so I don't have named varieties. Also loved by butterflies, these short annuals are great in the front of the garden when the other plants are losing color. Deer and rabbit resistant as well as drought tolerant. Sow the seeds early in the summer. 

Marigolds (in front of lantana). August 2012.
The kniphofia was planted in 2012, so it didn't bloom the first year. The orange agastache was also new and the blooms weren't yet large enough to adequately photograph. 

I love to use blue around orange and yellow, so I'm throwing seeds of perennial ageratum all around this garden section. 

So there. Showing my orange bloomers wasn't too painful.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. Deer and rabbit resistance varies based upon the animal population and availability of food. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks, copyrights, or patents owned by those respective companies or persons.
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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