The punk rock bride

Those of you who have been with me for a while know I have a bit of a hang-up with the color pink. Not hot pink as much as baby pink, but still… it remains a difficult color for me, for reasons I’m continuously trying to figure out, and mused about here, on my other blog. So, shortly after writing that post, I vowed to challenge myself to use pink in my garden this year – especially the pastelly baby kind. Not just use it, but to truly embrace it in a way where I could step back and say “Yep, I really like that”.

So, summer is over – how did I do on this challenge? Well, I suppose I haven’t been as diligent in my quest as one might have hoped, but I’m getting there. Surprisingly, what kicked me into action was a Baby’s breath – the hardy Gypsophilia paniculata ‘Festival Pink. Its airy structure of tiny pink flowers made me think that I could do this. The Swedish word for Baby’s breath translates to Bridal Veil (Brudslöja) and to this day, that is how I think of it. I always stumble over the words ‘Baby’s breath’ when I have to say it, because I want to call it something else. So, of course, whatever I ended up doing with this thing would have to evoke some kind of wedding – something.

Gypsophilia paniculata ‘Festival Pink’

Soon after acquiring this marvel, I got a start of an Agave americana ‘Medio Picta’ at a plant sale. I love its white and blue variegation! And, suddenly I knew! This was the one that would be paired with the Gypsophilia. Yeah, it was going to be a wedding, but it was going to be a wedding with some attitude! So, who are the guests?

Agave americana Medio Picta – the bride to be.

Euphorbia ‘Glacier Blue’ – because I love its blue and white foliage, and because it doesn’t get very tall.

Euphorbia ‘Glacier Blue’

A Helianthemum ‘Wisley Pink’. In a perfect world, it has gray foliage and baby-pink flowers with yellow centers, but languishing in a nursery pot for too long rendered it a nearly useless bundle of sticks with a few sad-looking leaves. Oh well, I rescued it from the dumpster, and I am nothing if not a supporter of second (and third) chances. I’m cheering it on, because this would be the only other pink plant in this arrangement. It hasn’t bloomed for me yet, so you’ll have to make do with this photo from Monrovia’s website.

Photo courtesy of Monrovia.

Photo courtesy of Monrovia.



Helichrysum (Licorice plant) – a trailing annual with fuzzy gray-green leaves. I like it a lot. Except in this planter, it is all but smothering the bride herself with its exuberant abundance.

'Starla' Rose

‘Starla’ Rose

Rosa ‘Starla’ – a miniature rose that I rescued out of pity last year. It had been sitting in its nursery pot since, poor thing, but is rewarding me now that its living quarters have been upgraded.

Sanseveria trifasciata 'Bantel's Sensation' - which will have to come inside once fall draws to a close.

Sanseveria ‘Bantel’s Sensation’

Sanseveria trifasciata ‘Bantel’s Sensation’ – which will have to come inside once fall draws to a close. Love those stripes!

Here you can clearly see that some of the guests have gone a bit wild. (Yes, I'm talking to you, Licorice!)

Here you can clearly see that some of the guests have gone a bit wild. Yes, I’m talking to you, Licorice. It is rude to throw yourself all over the bride!

My intentions were all good, but summer got away from me. Once I finally got it all assembled, the Bridal Veil aka Baby’s Breath was all but done blooming. And, as mentioned above, the Bride herself has gotten a bit overwhelmed by some of her guests. In all, I’d say it was a pretty good wedding, except I never truly got to experience the punk in all her sheer pinkness. Oh well, there is always next year, right? I think this is an experiment that could look really good when done right, so I will try again. Hopefully by then, the child bride has grown a little, and has a bigger attitude.


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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14 Responses to The punk rock bride

  1. rickii says:

    It’s a good looking wedding party, but I would have to give you a failing grade on the introduction of pink (not that that’s a bad thing, in my book). I used to like pink. It was a little girly thing. Grace has been bringing me along, and I now like it in places where it is unexpected, like blushing foliage or the new growth on an Abies. How are you feeling about pink after your summer project?

    • annamadeit says:

      Grace has been cheering me on too, Rickii! I’m doing much better in my attitude adjustment. I think by next summer, if the darn things can just bloom in a more coordinated manner, I think I will even like this baby pink. But, it is so much more than just the color itself. I completely fell for the Baby’s breath – much because of its airy, twiggy foliage, but also because those pink little sparks adorning it were adorable. The short answer is – yes. Presented the right way, with texture, context, color companions, etc., I do believe that even I can like pink again. And so, I keep trying… 🙂

  2. Kris P says:

    It’s a lovely wedding, even if the Helainthemum had trouble getting dressed for the occasion. In my experience, that Helichrysum will sprawl over everything. I invited 3 to my own garden party and they nearly swallowed up their entire bed before I got fed up and kicked them out. A smaller Helichyrsum (‘Petite Licorice’) has moved in unasked but I’m allowing her to stay – she may be pushy but at least she isn’t a space hog.

    • annamadeit says:

      Yeah, they are certainly hoggish… I still like them, though. And the good thing is that up here they are annuals. I can well imagine them being troublesome if I couldn’t count on winter to take them out. 🙂

  3. I love pink. I just do. But I prefer it in small doses and don’t like flowers that are freakishly screamingly pink. But kudos for trying to embrace something you dislike. 🙂

  4. I don’t like pink either, but now and then it appeals to me, especially with some roses like R. setigera or ‘Sally Holmes’.

    • annamadeit says:

      Yeah, I find that as soon as I spout off some opinion, the universe finds some way of showing me that I shouldn’t generalize. Funny how that works…

  5. Evan says:

    I’m not a fan of pink, either, except in a few cases. I’ll accept it for fall-blooming plants like colchicums, and plants I love like Calluna vulgaris. But I still try to avoid it if I can. Kudos to you for purposefully going outside your comfort zone to try something new.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Evan! I guess I just like the challenge in proving myself wrong! 🙂 But no – I wouldn’t say endorsing pink comes naturally to me… yet. I still have to work at it.

  6. Another great post. We’ve just planted euphorbia Tasmanian Tiger – not unlike yours

  7. Peter/Outlaw says:

    It’s a lovely wedding but it would be nice to see the bride in the group picture. Remind me not to invite Licorice to any event where alcohol is served. He clearly over imbibed and made a fool of himself. I wonder if he’ll be embarrassed when he sees the pictures once he sobers up?

    • annamadeit says:

      Haha – I think he will be mortified! He made such a dreadful spectacle out of himself. As for the bride – she has another year to grow some spine! 😉

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