Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pink + White = Yellow

In early spring my garden sports mostly pink and white with splashes of pale yellow and lilac. It's a color scheme driven by the happy accident of a fuchsia and white crabapple. No special horticultural magic here, I suspect it was originally all white and the previous owners missed a seedling or offshoot and viola! Ok, there's actually four trunks but it looks like one, doesn't it?

All goes as planned until around the 4th of July when the volunteers and chameleon perennials insist on invading my pretty pink pastels with a riot of purple and orangey yellow. Now I realize these are the colors that butterflies are attracted to and don't want to jeopardize their visits, so it's really ok. Actually I'd be more than happy to oblige them with their own special patch behind the garage, if I could see through walls. What surprises me is that no matter how many pink, or white flowering plants I add to my garden I can  count on at least half of them eventually blooming in purple or yellow. 

One of the biggest surprises came from the Asiatic lilies. I've probably planted a hundred of them over the last decade. Bunnies found them tasty and some simply vanished but for a few years I enjoyed a small stand of lovely pink and white Stargazers. Then one spring the new growth took on a very robust appearance. The stalks were like saplings, they grew four feet tall and produced twice as many blooms in SCHOOL BUS YELLOW! You can see it's there, lurking in the centers, waiting for its chance to take over. 

Actually, I've learned a lot about accepting change from my garden. Don't get me wrong, I wholeheartedly love the anomalies of nature and find them endlessly entertaining. I'm fascinated with the fact that flowers can revert to their original appearance before they were hybridized or grow up into something entirely new, from one season to the next! It would be nice if just a few of them could stay pink though.  

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