When I bought my house 17 years ago, I marveled at the amount of pink on the interior of my home. Once I stripped off layers and layers of wallpaper, I found the master bedroom had been painted bright pink. I expect this was to match the master bath, which I affectionately called the ‘Pepto Bismol’ bathroom. It had light, medium and dark pink mosaic tiles on the floor and pink tiles enclosing the shower and covering the walls. Even the toilet and sink were pink, but they didn’t stop there! Nope, for an extra dose of pink, the builder added a faux marble counter top with swirls of pink – yikes! I didn’t have much pink in my garden for a long time and I’m sure it’s because I was haunted by pink-ness. But I’m happy to report I am over that now and am loving the pink tones in my garden.
Here are some of my favorite pinks for the landscape. For spring flowering, I vote for Phlox stolonifera ‘Home Fires’ which quickly creates a pink carpet (much better than pink walls) in the woodland garden. ‘Home Fires’ is not only pretty, but also fragrant. What I used to call a ‘win-win’ when I worked in corporate America. Plant this spring beauty in partial shade where it will happily spread through stolons and attract pollinators.
|A carpet of pink – ‘Home Fires’ Phlox stolonifera|
Cercis candensis is another pink-flowered favorite. Nothing says spring like the blooming branches of this native tree. I don’t currently have any of the special cultivars with amazing leaves to complement the eye-catching flowers, but I’m always cheered by the appearance of the redbud blooms that pop against the surrounding landscape. I look forward to adding ‘Alley Cat’ to my garden in the near future. I struggled to decide among ‘Alley Cat,’ ‘Forest Pansy’ and ‘Rising Sun,’ as they all have stellar leaf color, but Alley Cat was the winner for me. Maybe it had something to do with the neighbor’s cat continually visiting me in my garden.
Summer brings some other favorites – Phlox, Allium, and Anemone. People almost always ask me, ‘What’s that?’ when they see my stately and long-blooming Phlox paniculata ‘Robert Poore.’ The scent is intoxicating and it blooms for weeks with good powdery mildew resistance in my experience. Another Phlox was just introduced to me by Clearview Nursery. Phlox x ‘Wanda’ has a compact habit reaching about two feet high. Wanda attracts pollinators and hummingbirds, is native, and tolerates part sun, which makes it a great addition to the garden. I can’t wait to find a special place for this new beauty in my sunny border.
|Phlox paniculata and Anemone ‘September Charm’ make a perfect pairing|
Anemone ‘September Charm’ is another great pink for the garden. While many might be familiar with the cultivar ‘Honorine Jobert,’ which won the Perennial Plant of the Year award for 2016 and has been gracing gardens for over 157 years, I have enjoyed experimenting with some of the pink cultivars. ‘September Charm’ blooms from August through October and gets about four feet tall. I don’t like to bother with staking, but this lanky perennial tends to lean. I place it behind shrubs so it has a built in support system.
Allium ‘Summer Beauty’ has been gracing my garden for several years now and I often recommend it for my clients who want ‘low maintenance’ and ‘deer resistance’ in a sun-drenched space. ‘Summer Beauty’ has clean foliage and blooms virtually all summer. Even the spent blooms make an attractive statement along the edge of a perennial bed.
|Allium ‘Summer Beauty’|
I hope I have enticed you to add some of these pink-toned beauties to your garden. I’d even recommend you add some pink to the inside of the house, as long as you limit your decor to pink flowers in a vase!