I never liked orange until recently. I never used much red or yellow in the garden and still don't. I'm into a relaxing colour scheme, and I wasn't surprised to hear a psychologist recently saying that red and yellow stimulated a fight or flight response in animals and humans.

Suddenly I'm attracted to orange. It started with a scarf, next thing I'm craving some orange in the garden.

Over the past year or so I acquired quite a few orange flowered plants: Achillea 'Terracotta", Kniphofia 'Border Ballet', a dark orange Buddleia shrub (still tiny but huge compared to its size last summer as a cutting) and a wonderfully tough little shrub called Mimulus in an apricot shade. And several orange wallflower plants. And a number(3) of salvia called africana-lutea.

The shade of orange of these plants varies - for example, dark burnt orange (the salvia) to soft apricot (the mimulus) to the multi shaded wallflowers. As for the Kniphofia, for me so far they have rarely flowered at all.

They're all in the front garden. Within this space they have all occupied many different positions at different times. I discovered that I only like them in the middle and back of the garden. In the front they're too bright, they simply don't blend to form a natural, relaxed picture. I don't know why.

And they need other colours around them to tame them. Colours which complement and soften the orange include the blue plumbago, pinkish-browny-yellowy wallflowers and the silver foliaged plants - santolina, curry plant and a kind of wormwood from the Canary Islands. When the santolina flowers it has bright yellow buttons, which I usually remove, but if feeling reckless I might leave.

Of course things won't all be in flower at the same time, so the colour combination will change over the year. But overall hopefully it will work.

If not - well, they're not unfamiliar with an itinerant lifestyle, and they may be obliged to move around some more.


  1. I live with a pomegranate tree which has bright orange flowers. I'm in so Cal but our climates are so similar I bet they'd do well for you too.

    I made you a fave on blotanical! Keep up the good work.

  2. thanks for making me a fave of yours. Yes, pomegranate trees do well here too, very drought resistant.


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