Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pink and Burgundy Blooms in the Coastal Garden

My garden colors tend to go in the pink, purple, yellow and blue ranges when it comes to flower colors. I really prefer the cooler color palette for my garden and always have. I tend to mix in whites and evergreens with the other colors but I do have some dark yellows and oranges in my heathers that line the front walkway and the orange poppies that grow wild in our yards.

This year the deep fuchsia colored rhododendron is finally flowering with many dark pink buds over the shrub. I'm pleased to see it flowering more than its ever flowered before and although it is flowering a little later than most rhodies in town (April and May), my late May to June flowering rhododendron is putting on a spectacular show for being such a young plant. The buds form into one to two inch extensions of the branches and start coloring the outside of the buds, opening dark fuchsia to a dark pink as the blossoms open. I wonder if this shrub will eventually grow to four or five feet tall and wide like the light pink rhodie I had in a pot in Petaluma. It took about five years for that rhodie to fully develop and this rhodie is about three years old now and growing fairly slowly. I'm glad to see the blossoms since there were none the second year here. Some of the local rhododendrons that have been in place for years in Eureka can get as big as a large tree, many around town are six to twelve feet tall or more and almost as wide. It is a wonderful sight to see the big rhodie a few blocks away fully blooming and almost as tall as the two-story home it is planted next to.

My garnet penstemon planted near the fuchsia colored rhododendron has buds on the tips of the plant. This penstemon is fairly new from last summer and is growing quickly with new garnet colored buds showing on one stem of the plant. I had a garnet penstemon in Petaluma that grew two to three feet wide and tall, producing beautiful dark burgundy flowers. Looks like this plant is raring to go for the summer season, I expect many flowers to show up on this young plant.

Along with the dark pinks and garnet of the rhododendron and penstemon , the pink climbing roses join to make a trio of pinks in the front garden. Unfortunately the delicate pink roses last only for three or four weeks before fading out in late spring. Across on the other side of the yard the small thymifolia fuchsia is a good foot tall and full of small dark pink flowers so it will help balance out the pink colors in the front yard once the roses fade. If all goes well with my mix of pink and purple sweet peas in the trellis there will be more pinks showering the front of the house by summer. Last but not least the pink jasmine that winds its way around the front porch railing has touches of pink color, although the dominant color of the jasmine flowers is white. The forming pink jasmine flowers are a light pink color so the vine helps keep the pink theme going in the front yard since the vines typically have blooms on them all year long.

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