Pity the Pink – Blooms and Foliage for May, 2014

Oh, dear month of May – why such a hurry? I can’t keep up! Bloom Day and Foliage Follow-up Day are both in the past – but hey, better late than never… right?

Anyway, when I was out snapping photos, I realized something. Not exactly being a lover of pink, I saw to my dismay that my May garden contains an awful lot of that color. And at this point, it is more of the soft, pastelly kind, and not as much of the bright, sweltering hot variety – which I actually like much better. I’m not really sure what my aversion to pink is, or at what point it began.  At some point in my life, I know for sure I loved it’s pretty hue. It’s not that I really mind it, but it just doesn’t do much for me. Perhaps I somehow associate it with a weak and gentle disposition, and somewhere in my life’s journey I stocked up enough passion, piss, and vinegar to regard its passive, submissive sweetness with annoyed disdain… who knows?

What I do know, is that for some of the plants, I have an excuse. It wasn’t the flower that wowed me – it was the foliage!

IMG_1133

Take the Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ for example. In exchange for its fine, dark foliage and shiny black berries, I will endure the pink.

The first time I laid eyes on Indogofera kiro was in the fall when the leaves were a golden, buttery yellow. I was stunned! To see that show again, I will give it a spot in my garden.

The first time I laid eyes on Indogofera kirolowii – Chinese indigo – was in the fall when the leaves were a layered, airy mass of golden, buttery yellow. I was stunned! To see that show again, I will happily give it a spot in my garden.

Clematis 'Nellie Moser' was said to work well in relative shade, and is obediently snaking its way up the aforementioned Elderberry. They flowers brighten a dark spot, and from a distance look almost more white than pink. So,  I've decided I'm willing to live with it!

Clematis ‘Nellie Moser’ was said to work well in relative shade, and is obediently snaking its way up the aforementioned Elderberry. They flowers brighten a dark spot, and from a distance look almost more white than pink. So, I’ve decided I’m willing to live with it!

Here is another pink Clematis - I think it's 'Piilu' - its generous buds working their way up a Crape myrtle that was once a gift from the Arbor Day Foundation. As luck would have it it's flowers were pink. I tried finding it another home, but there were no takers, so it remains in place. As for Piilu, it was a $4 bargain impulse buy from the grocery store at some point. I still haven't figured out why I keep falling for that...

Here is another pink Clematis – I think it’s ‘Piilu’ – its generous buds working their way up a Crape myrtle that was once a gift from the Arbor Day Foundation. As luck would have it it’s flowers were pink. I tried finding it another home, but there were no takers, so it remains in place. As for Piilu, it was a $4 bargain impulse buy from the grocery store at some point. I still haven’t figured out why I keep falling for that…

Here is a close-up of Piilu. Definitely better color than that timid Nelly Moser, but still...

Here is a close-up of Piilu. Definitely better color than that timid Nelly Moser, but still…

This was supposed to be a smaller peony with sultry, dark pink petals and yellow stamens. Oh well, it was apparently mislabeled. It has a lovely fragrance,  but I think it's going to have to find a home with someone who knows how to appreciate it more. Funny - I always feel so guilty when I don't like them more than I do. They can't help they're pink!!

This was supposed to be a smaller peony with sultry, dark pink petals and yellow stamens. Oh well, it was apparently mislabeled. It has a lovely fragrance, but I think it’s going to have to find a home with someone who knows how to appreciate it better. Funny – I always feel so guilty when I don’t like them more than I do. They can’t help they’re pink!!

My first brush with Allium shubertii was an encounter with its massive, dried seedhead. It was so cool, that of course I had to have one. I waited with excitement for this massive flower to emerge, only to be disappointed by its wimpy color. But, its form is so cool, it still more than earns its place in my garden.

My first brush with Allium shubertii was an encounter with its massive, dried seedhead. It was so cool, that of course I had to have one. I waited with excitement for this massive flower to emerge, only to be disappointed by its wimpy color. But, its form is so cool, it still more than earns its place in my garden.

This is a little more along the lines of my color preferences. The smoky orange of the 'Hot Cocoa' rose fades to a dusky pink as it ages. That range is really quite cool. Now, if it only had a better fragrance, I'd probably really like it!

This is a little more along the lines of my color preferences. The smoky orange of the ‘Hot Cocoa’ rose fades to a dusky pink as it ages. That range is really quite cool. Now, if it only had a better fragrance, I’d probably really like it!

Okay, so it's not all pink. It is time for the annual dance of the Japanese Snowbell - Styrax japonica. Lovely, fragrant, and offers up hundreds of seedlings each year. This is one that I saved for a choice location behind our garage. I planted it in a raised bed, so when it gets a little taller, I'll be able to sit on the wall underneath its fragrant bows, and just lose myself in its perfume. Nice!

Okay, so it’s not all pink. It is time for the annual dance of the Japanese Snowbell – Styrax japonica. Lovely, fragrant, and offers up hundreds of seedlings each year. This is one that I saved for a choice location behind our garage. I planted it in a raised bed, so when it gets a little taller, I’ll be able to sit on the wall underneath its fragrant bows, and just lose myself in its perfume. Nice!

A variegated Eryngium lighting up the night in the fading light of evening.

A variegated Eryngium lighting up the night in the fading light of evening.

Mosey on over to our gracious hosts Carol and May Dreams Gardens, and Pam at Digging to see what else is growing in gardens across the nation and the world this month.

 

 

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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5 Responses to Pity the Pink – Blooms and Foliage for May, 2014

  1. Well, Anna, I happen to love pink and your pink flowers are delightful. And I agree that May is swirling buy much too quickly, dang it. Why can’t January go by this fast? 🙂

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Grace! I really don’t know why pink leaves me so cold. Something must have happened somewhere along the way. I used to absolutely love that color… Wish you lived closer – I would present you with that peony. It really has a wonderful fragrance and needs to live where it is properly appreciated. 🙂

  2. Pam/Digging says:

    I like your pinks, especially paired with dark-chocolate foliage, like the Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’. The variegated Eryngium has lovely leaves too.

    • annamadeit says:

      Yeah, that dark foliage does wonders for almost any color. It has been a few days since I photographed the Indigofera, and by now it is completely smothered in blooms! Even I admit that it is stunning. That particular one is definitely growing on me! 🙂

  3. Pingback: What’s the deal with little girls and pink? | The Creative Flux

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