August 3, 2011

Classic Combos of Pink and Blue

Some time ago I read a gardening magazine article where the author suggested in a patronizing tone that planting a border of pink and blue (actually blue-violet) was the most that could be expected from some gardeners. What a narrow-minded view, I thought. Other color combinations might be more exciting or trendy, but that's no reason to throw out the classic. Above are white 'June Bride' heuchera, light pink 'Sister Elizabeth' english roses and burgundy 'Munstead Wood' roses.

Although I enjoy creating different color combinations elsewhere in the yard, I plan to always have at least one part of the garden planted in classic pink and blue-violet and white. I love this classic color scheme just as I love classic Audrey Hepburn dress styles. Above are 'Pagan Purple' delphiniums.

So this post features some pictures from earlier in the season showing some of the classic color combos in my backyard garden. Above are 'Clemantine Blue' columbine and pink Armeria.

The spikes of double 'La Belle' Campanula (bellflower) flowers above have proven to be good cut flowers. White 'Esther Reed' daisies planted nearby are a nice companion in the garden or the vase.

The 'Blue Clips' campanula that I brought home from my grandma's house a few years ago has proven to be a sturdy plant that expands quickly enough to allow me to pass lots of starts on to others. I have found that it gets floppy with too much TLC, though, and has a better form in more challenging conditions. Above it's growing next to needle-like Asparagus fern foliage.

Perhaps my favorite campanula right now is 'Pearl Deep Blue', shown above. It's compact form is never floppy and the flower color is deeper than the other two bellflowers shown above. Here it grows nicely at the feet of a 'William Shakespeare 2000' rose (definitely a classic!).

Perhaps a little less classic are true blue flowers, like the 'Tanz Nochmal' siberian iris shown above. Siberian irises take a few years to get established in my garden, but this year I had a great show from 'TN'.

Here's a wider view showing some blue 'Tanz Nochmal' with 'Meidilland White' roses in front and 'Pagan Purple' delphiniums behind. This trio made a pretty show together for nearly a month.

This final shot shows true blue 'June to Remember' siberian iris blooms. The dogwood growing nearby has begun to shade this clump too much, so I didn't get as many flowers this year. Transplanting it to a sunnier location is on the To Do list for next spring.
If you find yourself enjoying classic color combinations despite raised eyebrows from garden design snobs, then I'm with you. There's plenty of room in the garden world for all types of color schemes and garden designs, and I hope to remember to enjoy them all.


  1. Hi,

    Considering using yellow is also frowned upon by some garden snobs; it doesn't leave much scope for other combinations, does it?

    I love your combinations and it's very clear that a lot of thought goes into them; far more than I manage. Go with whatever you like, after all it's your garden.

    I personally do whatever I like, and since I'm a 'cottage' garden type, that generally means a bit of everything and anything. Although saying that, with experience I am now planning more, however I am yet to get to grips with transplanting things so plants that were planted in haste remain in less favourable conditions/spots.

  2. I agree that pink and blues are a classic, and probably the most beautiful of all combinations. Your pics are lovely.

  3. Very pretty. I'm with you. I don't let someone else decide what should be in gardening just because they like it or don't. I also pay no attention to those that think something is overdone because it's out there a lot. It's out there lot because it's good. :) You have lovely things going on right now.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  4. I really like pink and blue/purple and have it almost exclusively in my garden. And the way I see it, it's my garden and I'll grow what I want to. :) Gorgeous photos!

  5. The first photo is beautiful!! The pink and burgundy looks like a great combo!
    And the WS2000 picture has made my day!

    I use a lot of Australian natives in my designs where flower colour is secondary to foliage colour and form... I think that why I love your photos so much because its so different to what I am used to!

  6. Who doesn't love the classic combos? I have blue, white and pink in my garden front and yellow, blue and white out back (plus some reds). Your images are wonderful and I love all the blues that you pictured.

  7. if you want a romantic garden, then that's the colour scheme. And those colours are quite definite, not only pale pastels. Divine.

  8. Wow so pretty flowers... i love all of them...

  9. These are all so lovely! Pink and blue are just perfect partners.

    I am amazed at the climatic differences in our zones. I read your side bar information to my husband.... your long, snowy winter and short summer. We're toasting in 100 degrees day-after-day now. It wasn't like this until a few years ago. Our summers used to be nice and rain came on a regular basis. We thought we'd never want to move, but now, we're looking at other places with more interest!

  10. You have a lot of campanulas! "LaBelle" is very tempting. I love pink and blue too, there is nothing wrong with it. Your English roses are so beautiful.

  11. The overlap of your blooms is really interesting. In my zone we have many finished before others taking off, and now, everyone is scorched. As Cameron said, we are toasted. Keeping my fingers crossed for some rain...some measurable rain.

  12. Your garden is gorgeous! Thanks for stopping by my own blog. I absolutely drool over pink, white, and blue swaths in a cottage garden. Sadly, a lot of those perennials cook in my summer heat. Hot, hussy colors do better here in zone 7b, but I still love the pinks and blues that do survive. I laugh a little at plant snobs. They are entitled to their opinion, but gardening is for the soul, and that can't come from a formula or rule book.


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