October 11, 2008

So Much for Restraint

A few months ago, I wrote extensively about my front yard design scheme. I called it "Pretty in Pink." The idea was to contain my plant-collector tendencies by limiting the color scheme to light pink and white. I have since learned that blending pinks is a difficult endeavor.
The four Eglantyne roses that I planted are a lovely, clear pink. Softer and sweeter than bubble gum, but similar. I also planted a number of daylilies, all advertised as pink. When "Hush, Little Baby" bloomed for the first time, I had an obsessive-compulsive-colorist panic attack. The color of this "pink" daylily was NOT pink! Well, at least not in the way my roses were pink. It was pink the way raspberries are pink, a deep color with a lot of greyness or muddiness mixed in.
Pictures of Eglantyne rose (available from davidaustinroses.com) and Hush Little Baby daylily (available from bloomindesigns.com).


Now I personally prefer raspberry-type pink over bubble-gum-type pink indoors. I think soft greyed colors are easier to live with on walls and curtains. But I'm drawn to clear hues and pastels outside, and clear pink was what I'd pictured out front.
So out came all 9 "Hush, Little Baby" daylilies and all 7 "Sue Rothbauer" daylilies (good thing they were still tiny). They were transplanted to the west side of the house. In their place I planted one each of several softer pink daylilies, thinking maybe they'd blend better with the roses. I included Barbara Mitchell, Seminole Wind, New Testament and Millie Schlumpf (love the name!). None of them bloomed, so I'll find out next season.
Pictures of New Testament and Millie Schlumpf daylilies, both available from oakesdaylilies.com.


All of this has led to an expansion of the color scheme. If I couldn't find the perfect pinks (on plants that I liked), then I'd have to add lavender and possibly soft yellow. So far I've planted Nepeta "Walker's Low" (catmint), and I'm considering where to put "Big Blue" liriope. "WL" catmint won the perennial plant of the year award a while back for its long bloom season of lavender flowers and its overall toughness. It LIKES intense sun, heat and drought (once established). That makes it great for a few spots that the sprinklers don't hit very well. "BB" liriope has the same fountain shape as daylilies, though with spikes of lavender flowers. It isn't as tolerant of intense sun and heat, though, so I'll have to be careful about placement so the leaves don't fry next August.
Pictures of Walker's Low Nepeta (available from waysidegardens.com) and Big Blue Liriope (available from bluestoneperennials.com).


No doubt I'll be transplanting a few more things next season. Maybe none of the new daylilies will work with the roses. But hopefully I'll have things settled by the time the plants grow large enough to be difficult to move. Because my husband wore out his manual labor enthusiasm while planting 14 trees for me last month. Who knows how I'd convince him to move big daylily clumps AGAIN, all for the sake of the perfect pink scheme!

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