Monday, May 9, 2011

The Colors of Royalty

Heuchera and Geranium
Heuchera 'Plum Pudding' with Geranium 'Ann Folkard' in the background

Another blogger posted last week about how their favorite color combination during spring was chartreuse and pink/purple (I believe the photo they used to illustrate this was of the ubiquitous Euphorbia and a Redbud tree). It rung a bell as it's one of my favorite combos as well...and one that is very evident all over my garden! To be fair, I've also used gold/purple and yellow/blue to a fair degree.

Above is a purple Heuchera that I'm not 100% sure of the variety...but I think it might be 'Plum Pudding'. I planted these hear Geranium 'Rozanne' last year, but they were totally overcome by 'Rozanne', so this spring I moved them around a bit. I wasn't sure they made it though the winter and wasn't terribly upset by the idea. When I saw this new, totally lovely purple new foliage, however, I knew I'd find a spot for them somewhere.

Queen of the Night and Golden Jubilee
Tulip 'Queen of the Night' and Agastache 'Golden Jubilee'
This is, off and on, my favorite tulip...I love the deep, rich maroon/black/purple color...very somber and subtle, and it looks so great in contrast to all the fresh, bright green new foliage of the other emerging perennials. Seen in the background is Agastache 'Golden Jubilee'...a favorite for both it's beautiful foliage and charming, contrasting flowers.

Clematis and Euonymous
Clematis recta purpurea and Euonymous
This non-climbing, bush-type clematis, has the most amazing new foliage...a vibrant purple. In different light it can look dusky mauve, bright purple or rich burgundy. The foliage greens up one the weather gets got (for us here in Portland, that usually means July). It does bloom, with sprays of tiny, white, scented flowers around August, but the foliage is the main attraction. In the background is one of the golden variegated Euonymous that came with the house. I still have mixed feelings about them...but have decided to let them stay for a while longer.

Verbena and Agastache
Verbena 'Homestead Purple' and Agastache 'Golden Jubilee'
While this Verebena is supposedly perennial, I have only about a 50% success rate of getting them to overwinter. I never really hesitate to buy more, however. They are so easy-going and vigorous, I can count on them to spread throughout the garden in all directions, contributing their vibrant purple blooms...and smothering weeds with their thick matt of foliage.

Clematis and Geranium Erysimum and agastache
Clematis recta purpurea and Geranium 'Ann Folkard' Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve' & Agastache 'Golden Jubilee'
Here is the Clematis again, this time backed by the vibrant chartreuse foliage of Geranium 'Ann Folkard'. This is one of my favorite Geraniums, which, later in spring, will start tossing out it's small, vibrant magenta flowers...which, if any bigger, I'd probably consider garish. Luckily, the flowers are on the smallish side, and provide a nice electric jolt of color.

Last fall, I posted about how my existing 'Bowles Mauve' plants were dying and how I was considering replacing them with something with a bit more longevity. Well, after pulling them out this spring, I caved in and bought a few more. I just love their foliage and flower color...and aside from being short-lived, they are so carefree.

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Sedums Matrona (foreground) and Angelina
Ok, so this one is a bit of a stretch...but Matrona's new growth has a reddish-purple tint, which is more noticeably in certain light. Angelina contributes bright color all year long.

blubell and geranium ann folkard  233
Hyacinthoides (Spanish Bluebells) and Geranium 'Ann Folkard'
Another stretch of the palette, not quite purple, more on the blue side.

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A neighbor's Hosta
Ok, so not in my garden...but I pass these everyday on my way to the bus stop and just had to include them!

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My Front Border
And here is a wider shot of the bottom of the front can see the purple/blue/yellow theme is repeated throughout the garden...and is especially notable during the spring and early summer, before some of the yellow foliaged plants (the Agastache and Geranium) green up a bit during warmer weather and pinks, yellows and oranges join the cooler colors later in the season.


  1. Your border is breathtaking. You must be pleased.
    Just went through that Hosta stage here, they look unique for sure.

  2. Oh my gosh, these photos are breathtaking. I especially like the tulip and the agastache.

  3. Love that last shot, is your edging wood or copper?

    This combo (maroon and chartreuse in my case) is definitely a fav...and you captured the Hosta wonderfully!

  4. Your border is stunning! I really love the colors.

  5. I love the color combinations of the burgundy/gold- purple/yellows....just wonderful!

  6. It's just such an addicting combination! I just underplanted my Ophiopogon with creeping jenny and it already looks a million times better. Without even trying pretty much everything I ended up planting for this spring was purple and yellow.

  7. These combinations are just wonderful, one of my favorites too. I'm going to bookmark this post, so I can come back to it easily. That shot of your front bed is just delicious, not just for the color combos, but also for the leaf variations and repetitions too.

  8. Beautiful picture with the front border, and of the Heuchera leaf.

  9. Ann Folkard is pretty good in zone 10, not at its best but does OK. I've been trying Geranium 'Dragon Heart' the past couple years, which grows next to...Clematis recta. This clematis is seriously unhappy in zone 10. Your plants look blissed out!

  10. Oh, how pretty! I'm a big fan of that color, too. We are 2 days away from hopping on a plane to Portland. We're excited to be visiting on of our all-time favorite cities.

  11. One of my favourite colour combinations Scott. I am off to a gardening show this weekend and will be looking for a partner for heuchera 'Berry Smoothie,' which looks a similar colour to your plant. Your front border postively zings with colour!

  12. Scott, I'd say we were treated to a Royal audience with these photos, thank you! TC

  13. It is a wonderful colour combination especially in your beautiful photographs.I'm particularly partial to heucheras, Tulip "Queen of the Night" and hostas. Some plants are more fascinating at one stage than another. Your hosta image sums up a huge part of their appeal.