January 24, 2018

Adding Chartreuse to the Garden

Flowers are the reason I garden, but I've slowly come to appreciate the season-long color provided by foliage in shades of chartreuse, purple, blue, and silver.  In this post I'll share some of the ways I've used chartreuse in my garden.  Above you'll see (L-R) an unknown chartreuse hosta from my grandmother's garden, frothy Lady's Mantle in bloom, and an 'Ogon' spirea in my east backyard garden.

A true blue Siberian iris ('June to Remember') and mauve allium (probably 'Gladiator') look well against yellow-green foliage and flowers.

This is a different view of the same area from earlier in the season.  I really love the way soft mauve and pink play off chartreuse.

Fern-like 'Ogon' spirea at the base combines well with a 'Comtesse de Bouchaud' clematis up top.

Deeper pink, like this 'Maggie Daley' astilbe, really pops against a yellow-green background.

Add a little orange, maroon, and steel-blue to the chartreuse and pink and you have an especially vibrant color scheme.  The photo above includes 'Dusseldorf Pride' armeria, 'Elke' hardy geranium, 'Evergold' carex, 'Eola Sapphire' hosta, 'Dickson's Gold' campanula, 'Firestorm' geum and 'Chocoholic' cimicifuga.

Later in the season, this western backyard bed gets by with just the chartreuse, steel-blue and maroon foliage.  In addition to the plants listed for the previous photo, you can see a 'Diane's Gold' brunnera at bottom left.  I love brunnera, and this cultivar has deeper blue spring flowers in addition to the green-gold leaves.

I've been impressed with the months-long bloom season of this 'Blue Haze' euphorbia.  I need to get more of these plants.

Finally, a lacy 'Sutherland Gold' elderberry shrub (Sambucus) at left adds pop to this scene with a young 'Shasta' doublefile viburnum at right center and some 'Early Emperor' allium at center.
Does chartreuse clash with any colors?  It would be great with deep violet and crimson red.  Salmon pink or white would go well with yellow-green.  This color brightens dark corners and shines in sunny borders.  It's a good thing there are so many chartreuse options available to gardeners these days.


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