Thursday, February 14, 2013

Roses are red. . .

In my other life, teaching music at a public elementary and high school, I was informed by my students that pink and red are lucky on Valentines day.  I decided to oblige them in my wardrobe choice this morning as well as in this post. ;)

A tinge of pink graces this lovely blossom from the Cornus Kousa "Satamoi" dogwood tree.  As the blossoms age they give way to a full dusty pink and finally to raspberry colored bratcs. This is my absolute favorite small landscape tree.   

I have a love/hate relationship with hibiscus, mostly  because of my dogged impatience while waiting for them to bloom.  I wait for weeks in the spring to see any sign of life from the bare stubs.  Just when I am about to dig it up and relegate it to another casualty of a UP winter, it leafs and slowly begins to grow.  In late august I am rewarded with a small window of fantastic blooming.  Just as soon as it begins it is over, but while it blooms, hibiscus is queen of the garden.  

For a compact hydrangea, Twist and Shout is my number one choice.  Pink, blue, and purple, blossoms on the same plant in a lovely lace cap shape.  Stems are tinged red and foliage is rich and dense.  

These garden peonies gave quite the show this year.  They were early and prolific filling my kitchen with their heady fragrance.  They ended up outside because they also worked up my allergies (I know, a landscape designer who is allergic to plants.  All I can say is I am in love with my profession).

There is always something striking about a pop of red.  This beauty was proof I can never leave my favorite annual grower without taking something home.  Towards the end of the season one of the last geraniums  in stock caught my eye and found a home in this pot with some nicotiana and red coleus.
Azalea makes a striking showing.  Ruffly pink blossoms burst in vibrate color before it leafs out entirely.  

This was a new variety of hydrangea in 2011.  After two summers in this bed I am still in love with the antiqued mauve of the traditional "Annabelle" form.  Buyer beware, although the blossoms are stunning, the stems lack the support of the standard "Annabelle" and I fought drooping blossoms all season.  

Early morning Peony just about to bloom

Another pretty in pink azalea, a southern variety, taken on last spring's trip to the Carolinas.   

A 100 year old Azalea garden just outside of Charleston said to contain 30,000 Azalea plants.  

A bright red Camellia catches the eye as it dramatically contrasts the marble.


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