Red is an attention-grabbing color in the garden. Bold, loud, and bright. And it plays well with other colors as well – pair it with orange and yellow for a hot, exciting bed, or blues and purple to created a deep, rich, moody tone. Here are some of my favorite red blooms for the garden… what reds are you loving in your garden?
Gladiolus come in a huge range of colors, and they really do red well. This is the variety ‘Atom’, which is quite cold hardy (Zone 6 – 9) and has bright red flowers edged with white.
This peony ‘Buckeye Belle’ (Zone 4 – 8) has some of the darkest, richest red flowers out there. The color is so intense and dark, and looks all the better for the contrast of the bright gold stamens in the center of the blooms. Like basically all peonies, it is an easy-to-grow plant, asking little more than full sun and a little staking to help the blooms stand tall.
Spigelia marilandica (Zone 5 – 9) is a wonderful plant native to eastern North America. In midsummer, the bright red flower buds open to reveal a contrasting star of yellow. Humming birds love it, and so do gardeners.
Speaking of hummingbirds, this is the only red-flowered species of petunia (Petunia exserta, annual) which is pollinated by hummingbirds. Native to Brazil, is thrives as an annual in most gardener. Unlike modern hybrid petunias, this species has a loose, open habit, sending long stems rambling around the garden, with cherry red flowers coming non-stop.
Spider lily (Lycoris radiata, Zone 6 – 10) hails from Japan, and grows from a bulb, sending up these masses of elegant bright red flowers in late summer or early fall.
Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea, Zone 2 – 10) come in a wide range of colors, but I love the deep, dark, wine-red tones. Hollyhocks tend to perform as biennials or short lived perennials, but often self-sow so that they persist year after year. They’re such great old-fashioned flowers, but you don’t seem them in gardens much these days.
Another old-fashioned biennial flower… sweet William (Dianthus barbatus, Zone 3 – 9). They come in a wide range of colors, but the deep reds are my favorite. Pair that with a great scent and you have a winning flower.
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