Blue and Orange

Now that we are in July the colours and flowers in the garden are changing; the most noticeable colour is suddenly the misty blue of the Perovskia and the slightly darker blue of Lavender in the formal beds at the front of the house.

The formal beds looking from the front door

The formal beds looking from the front door

Clipped box and Perovskia

Clipped box and Perovskia

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Clipped box and Perovskia

Clipped box, Lavender and Perovskia

Perovskia

Perovskia

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Perovskia with the brilliant orange of pomegranate flowers

Perovskia with the brilliant orange of pomegranate flowers in the back ground

Perovskia with Stipa tenuissima in the foreground

Perovskia with Stipa tenuissima in the foreground

This is joined by newly opening Agapanthus.  Sadly I think all the agapanthus I bought last autumn at the plant fair in Courson need more time to reach flowering size, but we’ll see some may flower later.  The Agapanthus in the Left Hand Border were part of the very first planting in the garden in Spring 2007.  I planted 5, and in subsequent years there has been an increase in the number of flower spikes.  Most winters the foliage is very damamged by the cold and I always think they will die.  This last winter, although a long winter did not have very low temperatures and the foliage entered spring looking very healthy and I was full of hope that there would be a huge number of flowers this year.  But no! there are FIVE flowers again – who knows why, I certainly can’t think why there should be less flowers this year.

Agapanthus

Agapanthus

Agapanthus

Agapanthus

The view from my kitchen window in the evening is the orange Hemerocallis positively glowing behind the mass of Perovskia in the sunset.

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evening light catches orange hemerocallis and makes it glow

evening light catches orange hemerocallis and makes it glow

Tall Hemerocallis

Tall Hemerocallis

Perovskia with Achillea

Perovskia with Achillea

Red Hot Pokers, Kniphofia planted with Nepeta, not really visible in this image

Red Hot Pokers, Kniphofia planted with Nepeta, not really visible in this image

Above the upper slope path, the kniphofia are hidden within the bed, I will move an ornamental pomegranate that isn’t actually very ornamental in the autumn to open up the border.

Orange trumpet vine, Hemerocallis and blue foliage of Euphorbia

Orange trumpet vine, Hemerocallis and blue foliage of Euphorbia

Above the back border.

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38 thoughts on “Blue and Orange

  1. LOVE! Okay silly question …maybe….what is the smell around the formal beds? Is it mostly all lavender or does the Russian sage have a distinct smell too when planted en masse like that?

    • When the lavender is in flower, that is the strongest smell. But the Russian sage foliage has a distinct smell when you’re in there pruning or weeding not unpleasant but not particularly attractive either.

  2. Christina, how can you stand to ever go indoors or tear yourself aware from the windows once inside? This is so spectacular I would not want to miss a minute. The Perovskia with Achillea is a nice combination. Susie

  3. All that Russian sage looks wonderful – very effective in such a large spread. Mine is yet to open, but the lavender’s doing well this year as the sun hasn’t burnt it like last year. The Agapanthus are such pretty flowers, so hope they eventually perform better for you!

  4. I love blue and orange together, and the lavender/Perovskia/Daylily combo looks great. I’ve read that when the eye sees blue it seeks out orange and the other way round. Not sure if this is really true, but they do look great together.

  5. beautiful Christina, your perovskia is beautiful in all the combinations, I was wondering what the distant orange dots in the first photo were and you show us further down the post, the photo of the daylillies spotlit by the setting sun is gorgeous, I love the way the sun does that in the garden for fleeting moments before disappearing, Frances

  6. I have the same experience with Agapanthus in my Coastal South garden in the USA: not as many flowers as I hoped in subsequent years but I am ever hopeful.

    • Agapanthus need to be in tight colonies; when they have too much space they don’t flower, but I am surprised I don’t have more flowers this year as there is lots of foliage.

  7. Wow, that corner with perowskia and achillea is stunning. I also like the hemerocallis, they are a good orange and not the common orange variety (I think it’s h. fulva) but a larger one, right?

  8. Christina i letti formali sono strepitosi! Sono troppo sfrontata se ti chiedo di vederli dal vivo? Ho scoperto casualmente quanto fosse bello blu e arancio quando una calendula, nata spontaneamente, sbocciava vicino ai fiori della vinca. Sempre casualmente ho messo gli hemerocallis di Kevin e Clive vicino alla perovskia e quando sono fioriti ho visto che avevano i margini dei petali merlettati e di un arancio luminoso. Per me un abbinamento inedito che ripeterò sicuramente. Sono tre anni che ho un solo agapanthus, ma niente fiori.

  9. Christina, I have view envy and would want to spend a great deal of time looking out of your kitchen window. I really like the Achillea with Pervoskia too, especially with the grass.

    • I enjoy the view very much and spend time just gazing, as I said before especially when I’m on the phone as there is the only place with a good signal!

  10. I remember your perovskia from last year – stunning again. I read that agapanthus needs plenty of water during the previous summer to flower well the following year. Not sure if its true but I try and keep mine well watered. D

    • I’ll check that out. I thought that because it is a South Afican plant it basically needed wet winter and dry summers. Mine certainly didn’t have a lot of water last year!

      • Just checked the RHS site – “For the best flower displays, feed weekly or fortnightly with a balanced liquid feed during the growing season until flowers begin to show colour. Water agapanthus plants regularly during the growing season, but only sparingly in winter.” Most of mine are in pots and mostly I don’t feed them – obviously I should. D

        • Thank you so much David, that clearly explains why there are less blooms this year; on that basis next year there should be at least two stems per plant, 10 flowering stems would be wonderful! BtW I never feed any of my flowering plants except roses. The most anything else receives is any goodness in the mulch. C

  11. Beautiful colours but once again your foliage looks great too. I sigh when I see the pomegranate blooming. One of our two died this year and the second is not looking good. We will abandon it to its fate as I don’t like forcing plants if you have put them in the wrong place.

    • I agree with you about not trying too hard with plants that are not in their natural environment. I’m sorry you lost a pomegranate, I remember your husband was very keen they should produce fruit.

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