Garden Photo of the Day


Flowers as sweet as sugar

Today’s post is brought to you by the color PINK! Some people don’t like pink. But I think it is pretty wonderful. Pink is a deeply cheerful, joyful color to me, and who doesn’t need more cheer in their life and garden? There are lots of different kinds of pink as well. Pure pink is just pink, nothing else—sweet, sugary, and wonderful. But often pinks are mixed with a hint of yellow to make a warmer, coral color, or a hint of blue to create a strong, screaming magenta. They all have their place in the garden, but the different types of pink interact differently with other colors. Pinks that are edging toward magenta, in particular, I think, clash with a lot of colors, especially yellows and oranges. To my eye, they look best tempered with purples and blues. But the bottom line when it comes to combining colors is to do what you like best! A screaming magenta and a fiery orange may just make the vigorous, brilliant color combination you are looking for.

Zinnias (Zinnia elegans, annual) come in a wide range of colors, but I particularly love a good pink one. Zinnias are one of the most easygoing plants you can grow. A packet of seeds costs almost nothing, and all they ask is to be sowed where they’ll get plenty of sun in the spring after all chance of frost. Plant a patch of zinnias, and you’ll have armfuls of cut flowers all summer long!

Another classic plant, and one that’s very easy and cheap to grow from seed, is hollyhock (Alcea rosea, Zones 4–8). Again, they come in a wide range of colors, but I love this sweet, sugary pink. Sow the big seeds in late summer, and they’ll bloom abundantly for you the next year.

Think of a tree like a small flowering cherry, but blooming in late winter or earliest spring, with deliciously fragrant flowers, and you get the Japanese apricot (Prunus mume, Zones 6–9). Get some more ideas of using bright colors in your garden here.

Of course, we can’t leave the subject of pink without a rose. This is Rosa ‘Gemini’. It is a hybrid tea rose, which as a group is as famous for being disease prone and fussy as it is for having absolutely perfect, beautiful flowers. ‘Gemini’ is one of the tougher, more disease-resistant hybrid teas. It will get some spots on the leaves, but in my no-spray garden, it still puts out plenty of perfect, fragrant, pink flowers.

Byzantine gladiolus (Gladiolus communis ssp. byzantinusZones 5–9) has bright magenta-pink flowers. Unlike the typical garden gladiolus, which come from South Africa, this species is native to Europe and so is more winter hardy and perennial in most of the United States. View some more great pink plants here.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 06/22/2018

    Even though I don't necessarily think of myself as fan of pink, in another couple of weeks, it will be a very dominant color in my garden. There will be different shades of pink from the crape myrtles, classic pink from volunteer zinnias, and in the fall, billows of soft gauzy pink from my beloved muhly grass.

    1. Sulivar 03/21/2023

      WOW the size of the flowers is Sonic exe amazing. I also love pink.

  2. user-7017435 06/22/2018

    Good morning, A Touch of Pink seems to lighten & add a little romance to a garden. I believe pink muhly grass with the sun behind steals the show in a fall garden . Thank you for the color combination suggestions . Good luck, Joe

  3. wittyone 06/22/2018

    This is great advice....

    "But the bottom line when it comes to combining colors is to do what you like best! A screaming magenta and a fiery orange may just make the vigorous, brilliant color combination you are looking for."

    ....especially for beginner gardeners. So many articles list all the components for a garden bed making newcomers discouraged. They then decide that it all just too confusing to try to meet all the strictures listed.

    Most important is to realize that after all it's YOUR garden and YOU should be the one making the rules to be observed. Time and experience will add all the reasons for generally accepted rules and regulations for garden design.

    Just my humble opinion.

  4. btucker9675 06/22/2018

    Love the hollyhocks - wish I would have better luck with them. Never seem to be able to get them to thrive.

  5. user-7017435 06/23/2018

    Good morning wittyone, Your" humble opinion" is right on. Plans seem to go out the window when you get to the garden center & mother nature does not follow a color chart.
    Have a good day & good luck, Joe

  6. Cenepk10 06/23/2018

    Pink, Indeed !!!! I love pink ! So jealous of the hollyhocks. While I'm able to grow all of the hollyhock cousins- after one particular year of prolific blooming- Mine get the rust and have to be pulled out. I keep sowing seeds, though. Absolutely beautiful photos and great advice too . Thanks !

  7. Himanshu0709 05/20/2019

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