Orange You Glad

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.

Gaillardia ‘Burgundy’ 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.

Echinacea ‘Sundown’ 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?

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46 Responses to Orange You Glad

  1. Weed Whackin' Wenches says:

    What a fun post! This year we put some orange marigolds in the potager. They have exploded and are providing shockingly electric orange color. Our potager is so bright, you gotta wear shades just to get the weeding done!

  2. Ewa says:

    Very funny post Frances 🙂
    Please do not be ashamed of growing that beautyful orange tiger lily 🙂
    Why are you nearly ashamed?

  3. Pam/Digging says:

    I am very glad to see all your lovely, bright oranges. Like yellow, hot orange just goes with summer. I really need to add some gaillardia to my garden next summer. I like yours.

  4. Frances, says:

    Hi Wingnut and Curmudgeon, nice to see you. Thanks for stopping by. We have planted yellow marigolds in past years among the tomatoes and peppers and failed to do so this year. I love the look of orange and must remember to sow some next year in the potager.

    Hi Ewa, thanks so much. The tiger lilies have been written up as carrying a virus that will kill other types of lilies growing near to them. It does not affect the tigers, they are immune, but can spread to other lilies. The newer hybrids are said to be virus free, but I know the one we have here is not new, but do hope it is free of the virus.

    Hi Pam, thanks. Gaillardia would be a good addition to your garden and is a heat and drought lover. They self seed all over the place so they can be edited as you wish. They do not care much to be moved though, but I blame the drought for that. I thought you might know the name of my cuphea?

  5. Perennial Gardener says:

    I love orange in the garden too Frances. And you have a great variety of shades of orange & corals. I have that old fashioned tiger lily in my garden too. It is a reliable bloomer. So it stays.

  6. Dee/reddirtramblings says:

    Have you got any screaming orange daylilies to go with all of that orange? If not, I can lead you to some . . . I have an entire orange section of daylilies in my garden. If Pam thought the garden had hot colors now, she should have seen June. 🙂 I don’t know what I would do without the Blackberry Lily and the orange Cosmos this time of year.

    Great post, and I love your toenails.~~Dee

  7. ourfriendben says:

    Thanks for the great orange garden tour, Frances! You’re right, I *am* glad I came!!! I love all the Sophia marigolds; they’re my favorite marigolds of all. And you just gotta love Plant Delights Nursery, right? Great toenail polish, too!

  8. tina says:

    Very pretty toenail polish. Oh, and the plants too!:) Love those hot colors in the garden. These certainly qualify.

  9. Dave says:

    That’s a lot of orange, just right for a Tennessee resident! I like that phlox but I agree it’s more of a coral color than an actual orange. It still looks good though!

  10. Cinj says:

    Wow, your garden is bursting at the seams. What a gorgeous floral display. At least they had the sense to call that so-called red false. Does that mean they were admitting to their mistake in naming it?

  11. Frances, says:

    Hi PG, thanks for stopping by. The tiger lilies will stay until I see damage on the other lilies. They, the tigers, pop up all over, the little baby leaves are so cute. I am trying to grow some of the other lilies from seeds too, so must keep them labeled.

    Hi Dee, why thank you for that kind offer. I do have lots of orange and every other color of daylily, they just aren't blooming now. All the others are recent photos, I do have other orange things that bloom earlier and later. I do love those blackberry lilies too, I love how easy they grow from those black seeds, there is always room for more. My toenails thank you. ;->

    Hi OFB, nice to see you. I do love the Sophias, we had lots last year and only a couple this year, I will save the seed and intervene for more next year. PDN is smart with that newletter Tony Avent sends out, I always want something he talks about. I have ordered some more crocosmias due to be shipped this week even. I do love that color of polish too.

    Hi Tina, thanks. This color goes with lots of things in my wardrobe at this time of year so I never have to worry about clashing. ;->

    Hi Dave, I wondered if anyone would make a TN orange comment. ;-> I hope to make good use of Orange Perfection in the future. It is new now and I am not sure I like where it has been planted. Phlox moves so easily, we can have some fun there.

    Hi Cinj, thanks. The names owning up to bad judgement? Probably not, they have a lot of 'splaining to do for their silly namings. We are bursting at the seams here, I don't know how more plants can be fitted in, but we will do some editing this fall. I haven't even ordered any bulbs, (yet).

  12. Bobbi says:

    Fun post – beautiful flowers! Cosmos are one of my top 5 favorite flowers!

  13. DP Nguyen says:

    Such beautiful blooms (and berries) in the garden! I love those cute tootsies. They do match the garden. Although they look huge compared to the green. lol

  14. Pam/Digging says:

    Your mystery cuphea looks like cigar plant, or Cuphea ignea, Frances. I have that one too. It looks good with orange lantana in the fall.

  15. Skeeter says:

    It is fitting that you have so much orange being in Vol-Ville! My dad, the ultimate Vol Fan would love your orange as do I…

  16. Jean says:

    Yup!!! My favorite color seems to be whatever flower I am looking at but when it comes down to the nitty gritty…it is orange and burgundy and it really shows that in my house.

    We should all have such nice looking tootsies!!! No need for a 10X mirror there!!!

  17. Plantwoman says:

    Orange is the predominant color in my summer garden here just northwest of Houston, and I am inordinately fond of the hue – even though it is a hot color in a hot season. The orange blossoms just seem to hold up to the heat better than some other colors. I fear my poor garden can’t hold an orange candle to yours though. Just gorgeous!

  18. Frances, says:

    Hi Bobbi, thanks for dropping by. I have had a little trouble getting the cosmos going this year, planted too early before the soil was warm enough in spring, trying to rush things. The later planted seeds did come up, thank goodness. They really add some zip to the late summer garden.

    Hi DP, thanks. You are a bright bulb, seeing the giant feet in the tiny thyme bed, good one!

    Oh good Pam, thanks. C. ignea, that will be easy to remember, like lighting, igniting a cigar. They do look like little orange cigars and there is a lantana in the pot right next to it, good deal.

    Hi Skeeter, thanks. Although we live in the land of vols, we are Nittany Lions here, or one of us is. Some people in our family are very excited that football season is about to begin too. ;->

    Hi Jean, I love those colors too, aren't they so deep and wonderful? Our garden is tending more towards orange and purple than the burgundy, but the fall leaf colors of the dogwoods will give us that nice wine red. I have been known to use a magnifying glass to paint the toes, but not 10x, that is for eyebrow plucking! LOL

    Hi Plantwoman, thanks and welcome. Do you have a blog? I am very familiar with your location having lived three years in The Woodlands. The plants were lush but gardening could only be done in early morning and still was like working in a sauna!

  19. Nancy J. Bond says:

    I LOVE orange in the garden! Especially with blues. Your are simply lovely.

  20. Frances, says:

    Hi Nancy J., thanks. Blue and orange are eye catching in the garden. We are on the lookout for more orange!

  21. Gail says:

    Frances! Hello, what beautiful flowers. This year is the first year I had any orange cosmos and I completely love them…next year more! Your photos are lovely, even specatacular…especially Queen Sophie and Celosia Coral Garden Mixed!

    I returned to a sad sight…lots of dried up plants from the lack of rain…gosh this drought is terrible! Gail

  22. Frances, says:

    Hi Gail, I was wondering when you were getting back. We have had no rain for a long time now, although the temps are cooler. Night lows at 60! But so dry, very sad. Thanks for the flowers compliments, the cosmos are great, almost neon orange and really stand out. Hope you had a great visit.

  23. Christopher C. NC says:

    Orange you afraid you won’t have any orange flowers to show for Bloom Day coming up soon.

    Probably not. I’m sure you orange about to run out of things.

  24. lola says:

    Love that orange color in the garden. I have glads, moss rose & now cannas that are orange. It's so eye catching. Yellow & white glads with the orange ones. Nice. All are on the same side of my house. Now how did that happen without any planning!!!
    BTW Like the tooties too.

  25. Frances, says:

    Hi Christopher, you are so funny, always make me laugh. The reason for this post was actually because there were so many things for the bloom day they needed a themed post of their own. Bloom day gets overwhelming sometimes, I needed to break it up into digestible bits. Thanks for dropping by.

    Hi Lola, I saw your cannas, they are wonderful. Yellow and white are the perfect companions too, with maybe a little blue or purple or burgundy to keep it real. Thanks for the kind words.

  26. Rose says:

    Little grandson is fond of knock-knock jokes; this is one that Grandma taught him:)
    I don’t have a lot of orange in my garden, but I may have to re-think that after seeing all your lovelies! I’ve never seen the coral wave petunia in any of our nurseries–I hope someone here has them next year.
    Don’t you wonder who comes up with the names for plants sometimes? Either the colors look different in the originals or they’re color blind:)

  27. Roses and Lilacs says:

    Hybridizers certainly stretch the truth when describing their plants.

    There really are a lot of colors that can be called orange. You don’t realize until you see several of them together.

  28. Frances, says:

    Hi Rose, how sweet. I am glad to hear your little one knows that joke. Its innocence is boundless. You do need some orange, is says summer going into fall to our garden delight. The coral wave was bought at a local grower/nursery. She is a past president of the Perennial Plant Association and gets to try new things earlier than some. It is so pink though, not coral really.

    Hi Marnie, thanks for dropping by. Some plant names are ridiculous, while some are brilliant. Not consistent there, are they?

  29. Annie in Austin says:

    The orange section of your garden rainbow has so much variety, Frances – the cosmos is especially nice.

    Pam beat me to the Cuphea ignea ID – your plant looks similar to what I have growing here – it’s been perennial for a few years. Sometimes you see them with the variety name ‘David Verity’ on the label.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  30. Daisy says:

    I’ve always strayed away from orange in my (rather bare) garden in favor of purples and burgandies and blues, but after reading your post, I can’t remember why. All that orange is lovely!!!

  31. garden girl says:

    Gorgeous oranges Frances – all of them. I couldn’t pick favorites if I tried!

    Very fun post! Love the orange toes.

  32. Frances, says:

    Hi Annie, thanks on verifying that cuphea. Since it is in a container it probably won’t winter over here, maybe I will find a good spot to plant it in the ground and give it a try.

    Hi Daisy, so did I until the last few years. I went with pastels and thought orange too garish, what was wrong with me? LOL Thanks for your support!

    Hi Linda, thanks so much. Like our children, no picking of favorites here, unlike the viola beauty contests!

  33. Randy and Jamie says:

    What incredible photos! You have such an eye for beauty!- Randy

  34. joey says:

    Wow, Frances! I grabbed my sunglasses to view this colorful (and delightful) post 🙂

  35. Titania says:

    Frances, great “orange” post. Lovely summer collection. I just took the idea from you to plant containers in one colour, but with different plants, like you did with orange hued flowers. Spring is on its way here, early this year.

  36. Eve says:

    Ohhh…toenails so pretty. Herbs look healthy too. I love to plant mint around the outside of my steps and then walk on it..LOL

    My favorite color is apricot and coral but I love orange and yellow too. I am just a warm color sort of person. : ) Your flowers are wonderful.

  37. Frances, says:

    Hi Randy and Jamie, nice to see you and thanks for dropping by. Thanks too for those kind words, they mean a lot coming from such beauty masters as yourselves.

    Hi Joey, thanks and LOL. It was pretty bright in some of the shots. Orange is a good color for the intense sunlight in summer, isn’t it?

    Hi Titania, what a nice compliment, thanks. How exciting to have spring so near. I can’t wait to see your containers.

    Hi Eve, thanks. I am just like you with the warm colors. My closet is filled with coral and yellows, and of course the basic black. In the garden I like things that show up well from inside the house, and those colors do it well.

  38. Anonymous says:

    And the grand prize of orange goes to the Cosmos, with the toenails and echinacea tying for first runner up. I do not have a picture, but my favorite orange of all (besides the joke from Grammy, who I remember hearing it from in my much younger days)is the native wild beautiful orange Butterfly Weed. I have been an obsessive Butterfly weed pirate here lately, trying to save it from the vicious highway department county mowers.

    Much Love, CP

  39. Frances, says:

    Hi Chickenpoet, nice to see you and hope you are well and happy. Thanks for your ratings and including the toenails, HA. I agree the orange butterfly weed is without peer, but mine look terrible right now, they have been eaten and aphided to mere sticks. I wanted all the picks to be what is currently blooming in the garden on that date. Hooray for the pirate, though, may she dig them all to save them from the mowers! much love.

  40. Barbee' says:

    I love the Plant Delights’ catalog covers; they are a hoot! I used to not like the color orange, but I am beginning to like it more and more. I think that Tiger Lily is the one that comes up in the island bed among the peonies. I have day lilies, but no other true lilies, so I am grateful for this old kind.

  41. Frances, says:

    Hi Barbee, thanks. I love the old lilies too, am just concerned about infecting the others. So far we have had no problems, and it's been several years now. Do try some orange, it will grow on you. ;->

  42. marmee says:

    orange has been my favourite garden colour this year too!
    but i don’t have nearly the variety you have thanks for sharing and i love the tootsie’s!
    i actually like photographing feet in greenry!

  43. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Frances I just love all the shades of orange that you have shown us. I have a favorite that I have grown the past couple of years that would fit in nicely with your orange theme. It is a tropical, Crossandra inundibuliformis ‘Orange Marmalade’. It is so hardy in the garden whether in a pot or in the ground. It takes the heat and droughty conditions we have been having in stride.

    I see several in your collection I would like to have. Those orange tootsies are one of them. 😉

  44. Frances, says:

    Hi Lisa, thanks for visiting and a big hug to welcome you back. I love the name of the tropical crossandra and will have to look for it, we need something that can withstand heat and drought. No rain for us even yet, boo. ;-<

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