Do you remember hearing the knock knock joke with the punch line “Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?” It is an innocent child’s first joke telling experience, easy to remember and guaranteed to bring a laugh from a doting adult listener. That sweet thought brings us to today’s subject, orange in the late summer garden. Shown above is Cosmos sulphureus
in all its glory hanging over the copper bowl birdbath. Now that can be called orange without challenge.
The orange theme began swirling around in one’s brain with the purchase of the above Phlox paniculata ‘Orange Perfection’
while in Pennsylvania recently attending the wedding
of the daughter of a dear friend. While this may have earned the title of the most orange garden phlox to date, as one catalog spouted, this is not orange to me. It might be leaning towards coral, and that would have been a better name for it, Coral Perfection, but orange, sorry no.
Another stretch of naming truthiness is this new wave petunia, Coral Wave. In reality it is pinker than the Orange Perfection phlox. Pretty yes and a step in the right direction for the petunia colorists tired of the purple and mauves. But that name is misleading if you are looking for a more citrus hue in your container design.
Both of the above are very similar to this truer coral flower of the Hesperaloe parviflora
, False Red Yucca. Here again, why call this color red? Coral is a perfectly good and even desirable moniker for flowers.
The marigold, Tagetes patula ‘Queen Sophia’
is a dusky orange that has self sown in the garden here and is welcome everywhere. The bright blooms attract butterflies and bees who help keep the seeds for next year coming. This falls into the true orange category.
The lone celosia from a whole packet of C. spicata ‘Coral Garden Mixed’
that has done anything is stunning if solitary. The seeds were free from Chiltern’s in England when the catalog was ordered online. A whole tray of babies was grown in the sunroom/greenhouse with visions of rows and patches of these fan shaped bits of velvet. It did not happen. The drought is the culprit for the poor showing I think.
Blackberry lily, Belamcanda chinensis,
has a mix of dark and light coral that is very attractive in the close ups as well as from afar looking out through glass patio doors.
Coleus ‘Freckles’ hints of rusty orange in the darker portions of the leaves. This is a very heat and drought tolerant variety, showing no wilt while in the container in full sun.
Pyracantha berries beckon the birds with their delightful color. This year there is a bumper crop of this cardinal candy.
Our friend the perennial pepper goes straight from green to this brilliant orange. These peppers last well past Christmas and offer bright spots in the dreary gray browns of the winter garden. This is a vegetable that belongs in this themed posting.
suggests a darker wine red than this appears. Those namers use a lot of poetic license. The tips of the petals are a nice light orange that blends well with the redder orange interiors.
Red shrimp plant, Justicia brandegeana
has bracts of a burnt orange hue. The flowers are fleeting but the bracts are very long lasting. We grow this as an annual, its hardy in zones 9 through 11. The container plantings had an orange theme this year and while the lack of water has lessened their lushness, there have been small victories.
The rotting berries of Arum italicum
hold the promise of baby plants. We have not had any baby plants sprout from the yearly berry rot, however but hope springs.
I like how the camera thought the eryngium more focus worthy than the belamcanda here. This flower is spot free, unlike most of the others. There is also one yellow seedling without spots. All of these plants came from the seeds of one plant from my friend Laurie. The seeds are collected and sown each year to increase the numbers for a better show and it has finally paid off this year. Thanks, Laurie.
Helen’s flower, Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’
is reblooming after a deadheading haircut mid season. We are hoping to see these colorful flowers through fall.
is the most delicious of colors. This young flower still shows green in the cone that will turn a golden orange before going brown with seeds. The goldfinches are already making short work of the seeds on all of our echinaceas. We had better save some to sow for more plants.
Very orange are these cuphea flowers. The tag had no cultivar name so we don’t know what species this is and assume it to be not hardy here. It has been a good performer in its container with hardly any extra water other than rainfall.
Celosia of a reddish orange color with a yellow marigold behind has been perky in its container through the dry times also.
Gaillardia ‘Sundance Bicolor’,
a gift from offspring Semi has wonderful many petaled blooms. It is hoped the seeds will come true from this one. We have many G. ‘burgundy’ and G. ‘goblin’ that might alter the gene pool after the bees have had their way with them.
Abutilon ‘Fool’s Gold’
ordered last winter from Plant Delights Nursery has been blooming non stop since it arrived in the mail. I give them a hearty recommendation if you are interested in buying this plant. It is nearly time to prepare the residents of the winter sunroom/greenhouse for their return inside. A dousing with insecticide twice will hopefully rid the pots of unwanted hitchhikers. The pot of three abutilons, this one, a dark orange and a light yellow has been moved closer to the back door for preparation. This is the only non orchid/bromedliad that gets shelf space. These have done better than many of the orchids in fact.
Nearly ashamed to admit to the growing of the old fashioned tiger lily, Lilium tigrinum
, these were growing on the property when it was purchased. After reading about the possibility of virus infection of other lilies from this one they were all taken out. The bulbils had been scattered for years and they continue to pop up in the garden. We have allowed one stand of them, away from the other lilies to grow and flower. Maybe we are courting disaster here by letting these grow, for we have many other types of expensive lilies that we don’t want to see become diseased. Let us hope for the best on this one.
Lantanas are revving up with the closeness of fall. More flowers that last longer as the plants become huge are adorning the front garden with much needed color. They have taken a while to become noticeable but will provide these attractive color combos up until a hard frost turns them to black sometime in late October, or later November if we are lucky.
New cushions were ordered with the G for Garden monogram to brighten the cool blue of the adirondak chairs under the arbor. Who needs flowers with the coral and turquoise shouting at us?
Just to show that coral, orangey apricot is really my favorite color, a peek at painted tootsies hovering over a patch of elfin thyme up in the knot garden. We hope you enjoyed the color too. Orange you glad you came?