Pretty in Pink?

– Posted in: Colchicums, Design, Plant info, What's up/blooming

The Birthday Garden in autumn
This is a section of the Birthday Garden, which is a somewhat raised bed sandwiched between the driveway and the house. At the base of the stone wall, looking rather pale, are some Colchicum byzantinum. Above them is an unknown chrysanthemum, which Debi Lampman of Bedlam Gardens in King Ferry, NY gave to me this spring, when I visited her in the course of researching an article on gardening hotspots in Ithaca. Next to the mum, Colchicum ‘Lilac Wonder’ emerges from the blue-green foliage of a catmint (Nepeta sp.). I got it from Bluestone Perennials as ‘Six Hills Giant,’ but it has never gotten as tall as I had been led to expect. But it smells wonderful when brushed against and works well where it is, so who cares? In the back, Aster ‘Lady in Black’ is in full bloom. I have to agree with Judith, this is a great plant. Earlier in the year, the dark maroon foliage contrasts deliciously with the pale yellow blossoms of Cephalaria gigantea. (You can just see the foliage of the Cephalaria peeking out from behind the mum.) And I just got done moving my grown-from-seed pink trumpet lilies in front of this aster. As you can see from the picture here, the backs of the lilies will echo the foliage of the aster nicely.

But what do you think: do these purply-pinks all work well together, or do they clash?

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

Comments on this entry are closed.

Fran Sorin October 12, 2008, 1:45 pm

The purples and pinks absolutely go well together….sweet, sweet, sweet. A welcome vignette, a stark difference from the jewel tone colors of fall. Fran

Judith October 15, 2006, 5:03 pm

I like the combination you have happening in the Birthday Garden (appropriately named)…gives me ideas of what to add near my ‘Lady in Black’. Love the Colchicum ‘Lilac Wonder’ you have growing–that is missing from my garden. Oh, yes, many of us know how to take the most flattering photo of our gardens. In my case, I can never step too far back or everybody will see the mess I’ve left behind in the garden (tools, pots, weed piles, you name it…).

Carol October 15, 2006, 8:38 am

I think it is a lovely collection of pink flowers. Don’t change a thing!

Kathy Purdy October 14, 2006, 5:56 pm

Thank you all for your comments. When I planted that mum, I hadn’t ever seen it in flower. It went in the only available spot. The aster and the colchicums look good to my eye, and the aster and the mums also look good. But the colchicums and the mums–I wasn’t so sure.

Annie in Austin October 14, 2006, 9:30 am

Oh, Kathy – bet most garden bloggers have become skilled at cropping the photos to show the good stuff!

Although I’ve been trying to ditch most of the hot pink that former owners planted here, this combination of more subtle hues looks lovely in your garden. Having the colchicum flowers juxtaposed with the Nepeta foliage was an especially good idea.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Zoey October 14, 2006, 4:57 am

I like your monochromatic color scheme, too. I spotted those colchiums right away.

I’ve never heard of Aster ‘Lady in Black’. It’s very pretty and as soon as I’m done commenting, I am going to look it up.

I think we all have become pros at taking flattering pictures. My garden always looks much better on the blog than in real life!

Mary Ann October 13, 2006, 11:03 am

Dear Kathy,

Excellent color combo! I am known around here as a bit of a colorist. You got it totally right with the monochromatic scheme. Shades of the same soft pinks and purplish pinks together make for a lovely, restful, but full of glory scene.

Kathy Purdy October 12, 2006, 8:34 pm

I’d love to have you stop by, but I must warn you, Kerri, I have gotten very good at taking flattering photos of my garden. This one was taken a an angle, so that the flowers are much closer to each other than they would appear if you stood facing the bed.

kerri October 12, 2006, 7:58 am

I love all these pinks together! I can see I’ll have to visit you some day and take a tour of your gardens!
I especially love the color of that mum.
The Colchicums are so pretty!
I read the post on the trumpet lilies and was impressed that you managed to succeed in growing them from seed. They’re beautiful!