Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Pink in the Parking Strip August 28, 2009

Pink has never been my favorite color, in fact it is pretty much at the bottom of my list, but somehow it seems to have worked its way into my life despite my protestations. My daughter discovered it in preschool, it was like a social virus running from one girl to the next. Now, thankfully, she seems to be moving on to other colors, but in the meantime she still has pink clothes that fit and I’m not going to just toss them out because purple is the new pink.

In the garden, I love the soft whitish-pink of cherry blossoms, although my current garden does not have any. My mom gave me a ton of echinacea, which goes by Purple Coneflower but the purple has always looked more pink to me. Or maybe you could use the term “pinky-purple,” which my 2 yr. old niece taught me recently when she was visiting.

Purple (pink) coneflowers

Although the pink of this Gaura is a little on the Pepto-Bismol side for my taste, it has bloomed its head off for months with almost no supplemental water and zero fertilizer in crummy parking strip soil, despite being a new addition in the spring. Its full name is Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Rainbow’ and the purple leaves that it started out with have not been quite as apparent as I had hoped.

Pink gaura

Every year, I say I will be more ruthless about ripping out the tall aster seedlings that reseed with wild abandon, but then I’m glad of them when summer begins its freefall into September and many of the other blooming plants start to give up. This is another pinky-purple one, and this blossom was the first to open of the many that will linger well into the fall.

First aster bloom

Are there any colors that have crept into your garden (and your heart) despite initial resistance?


15 Responses to “Pink in the Parking Strip”

  1. Grace Says:

    Well, as you may know I absolutely swoon over pink. Light pink all the way to carmine or crimson. I think chartreuse would have at one time been the color voted least likely to succeed in my garden. But somewhere along the line, it won me over. BTW, I have not had luck wintering ‘Passionate Rainbow.’

    Fabulous Aster!!!

    • Tatyana Says:

      It was time I disliked pink. Well, my taste has changed. Now, I have less reds and more pink and purple. Although, I still like red geraniums and cardinal flower. I like the pinky-purple term!

  2. Megan Says:

    When I started gardening, I wanted one of everything. My yard was a riot of color. A friend described it as a cottage garden, which sent me out, shovel in hand, to dig out the flowers then and there. Since then, I’ve tried to keep all color at bay, only white, green, brown, black flowers. But so many good leaved plants have yellow flowers that I decided I could put up with for a little while, so I surprisingly have quite a few now. And the Crocosmia Lucifer made it through the edits. So now my garden colors are yellow and red. How did that happen? It’s like a McDonalds out there.

    My niece is going through the full fledged pink stage – princess clothes and satin and glitter and all that. Like a social virus, like you say, it does seem to reliably hit many little girls.

  3. Alice Joyce Says:

    I’ve been tagged with a meme award by Sarah and Helen of TorontoGardens, and wish to pass it along to you! I do hope you’ll accept. First I must write a post revealing 7 things about myself, and invite you officially at that time. (I have guests this weekend, so a bit of time is needed to accomplish this.)

    And by the way, I’m with you. Pink appears in subtle ways, here and there in my garden. Not the focus in any way.

  4. I’m not that crazy about pink, either, but there seems to be more and more flowers in my garden that sport that color.

    Don’t care a lot for orange, either.

    Or purple.

    I guess mostly I want a garden in shades of taupe.


  5. Alice Joyce Says:


    It’s official. I’ve tagged you for a Meme Award!
    Do drop by to pick it up,


  6. Wendy Says:

    my 4 year old certainly has pinkititis, which my older daughter managed to avoid!

    I was really unhappy when my baptisia, which was supposed to be a dark maroon, after 2 years, finally bloomed a lavender. However, after I got over the initial anger, I’ve come to realize it has a nice place in my little perennial garden. If it were maroon, it would probably be one of the 10 other maroon flowers!

  7. YELLOW and it is all Gail’s (Clay and Limestone) fault!
    I was considering my new yellow rudbeckia today, and thought I must move the pinky/purple coneflowers and plant more yellow and possibly orange …. I cannot believe that I am saying this!
    I dont like yellow and orange!
    I like your pinks though

  8. easygardener Says:

    I am sort of anti yellow until I see a yellow flower I like which just proves how rubbish I am at holding a firm opinion on colours!
    Generally, the more colour in the garden the better I like it – a substitute for the lack of consistent sunshine over here I guess.

  9. Catherine Says:

    I have to say I love pink and lots of pink flowers. I’d say orange is one color I don’t have much of, but have added a little here and there.

  10. There was a time when I only wanted leaves (green of course) and white (flowers). Then I discovered dark foliage and flowers. It’s been “downhill” since then! Orange, red, pink, purple, yellow, blue…I’ll let anything in.

  11. banner6 Says:

    I’m with you when it comes to pink, though I do think that orange agastache with the echinacea makes them both more interesting. I can see it coming, though: I fell for a phygelius ‘Trewidden Pink’ that I would describe as “bruised pink”. Same thing happened for me with yellow: phygelius ‘Moonraker’ opened the door, and now more and more yellows have snuck into my garden.

  12. Although red is my favorite color it is not one that I garden with much…just too…hmmm, well just too red! Then again I do like it in my veggie garden in the form of tomatoes and peppers, LOVE it then! Kim

  13. Racquel Says:

    That would be orange, but I love how great it looks with purple. 🙂

  14. Georgia Says:

    Right now, the only color in my garden is green. It’s an indoor garden consisting of two plants. One started out as a cutting I brought from Berkeley. Must go plant shopping soon. I wouldn’t mind yellow and red blooms in the living room and maybe purple for my husband’s office.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s