Garden Photo of the Day

Gorgeous in Gold

Sunny hued plants worth growing

For most of the country, this has been the spring that refuses to arrive. But whether warm, sunny spring days have FINALLY arrived for you, or winter is still hanging on, I thought today we could celebrate with some warm, sunny plants that bring the sunshine no matter what the weather does. What gold flowers do you like?

Magnolia ‘Butterflies’ (hybrid magnolia, Zones 5–9). Deciduous magnolias are one of the sunniest signs of spring, and the pale yellow selections are particularly wonderful. Just remember that the yellow color comes from hybrids with Magnolia acuminata, which is a large forest tree, reaching as tall as 70 feet! The hybrids are smaller, but they still become bigger trees than your average spring blooming magnolia.

Hylomecon japonica (Japanese forest poppy, Zones 5–8) welcomes spring with cherry flowers of bright yellow. Easy to grow in shade, it doesn’t seed or become aggressive, unlike other similar yellow, shade-growing poppies.

Epimedium × versicolor ‘Sulphureum’ (Bicolor barrenwort, Zones 5–8) is an ideal plant for a tough, shaded sight. Tolerant of dry shade, this delicate-looking plant is actually very vigorous and will spread to form a beautiful ground cover of airy foliage and graceful pale-yellow flowers.

‘Graham Thomas’ is one of the oldest of the David Austin English roses but still one of the best. It has big, cupped, warm gold flowers with a delightful fragrance. Like many roses, it can get foliar disease, and the plant can be a bit rangy and ragged, but I’m willing to forgive a lot of sins for those perfect blooms.

Hosta ‘Fire Island’. The yellow-leaved hostas are either virescent, meaning the leaves emerge gold in the spring and then fade to green, or lutescent, meaning they start green and turn gold over the season. This is a virescent variety, and one of the best. The vigorous plants simply glow when they first push out of the ground.


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  1. user-7017435 04/20/2018

    Talk about a site for sore eyes, these photos are terrific.. I 've been limiting comments recently because of eye site problems. Lasik & cataract operations yesterday have worked wonders. I am going to spend the recovery period reviewing past posts t& F.G. magazines o see what I've been missing. Thank you for the photos,good luck, Joes

    1. sheila_schultz 04/20/2018

      I hope your recovery period is very short, Joe! The timing for your surgery was perfect... just in time for the beautiful spring blooms!

    2. User avater
      gringopeligroso 04/20/2018

      I can almost imagine your relief & delight at recovering such a precious thing! Most of us take it for granted.....until....... Modern medicine can & does work miracles these days, & like Sheila, will wish you God's Speed towards your full expectations & perhaps a bit further better than your hopes! Perhaps soon, we can change your handle from user ##### to "Ole Eagle Eye!!" Good luck to You, son!!

  2. garden1953 04/20/2018

    Pretty, pretty, pretty!

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 04/20/2018

    Oh, my, I adore that hosta! I bet it really lights up the shade.

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 04/20/2018

    I love the idea of a carpet of the epicedium ‘Sulphureum’... it has such interesting and attractive foliage and its dainty dancing yellow flower is captivating.

  5. cheryl_c 04/20/2018

    The golden Japanese forest poppy is lovely, but, for my taste, the humble celandine poppy, native to Missouri and much of the midwest, can't be beat for spreading sunshine and cheer. I always smile when I remember that one of the ways it plants itself is by ants carrying the seeds, which have a sweet coating, into cracks large enough for the ants, but not quite large enough for the seeds! It is delightful to see where the seeds have gotten stuck!

    1. User avater
      gringopeligroso 04/20/2018

      Cheryl, what a delightful & totally cool story! (Made me smile, too!) I've heard of them, but will have to look them up. The oriental import Joseph illustrated above is totally new to me, & reminds me of a prostrate golden dogwood...of which the real ones are going crazy here with their clouds of blossoms! Looks like I have 2 plants to add to my wish list this morning!

  6. user-7017435 04/20/2018

    Good evening Sheila & Gringoeligroso, Thank you for your kind comments. The change in my eye sight was immediate & spectacular. I looked for the Hosta Fire Island at Made In the Shade gardens but it's sold out. Thank you & good luck to you both, Joe

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