“I Don’t Do Orange” meh!

IMG_4597At the risk of sounding judgmental…when I hear a gardener saying, “I don’t do orange” (and I just did), I worry. For some reason, the color orange is one of those embedded harbingers of “bad taste” that has no real basis. The sunsets and sunrises are a beautiful shade of orange, sherbet is a translucent orange, southern gardens are filled with the smell of orange blossoms, Mimosas are filled with tasty orange juice and the orange flavor of Grand Marnier can turn a ho-hum dinner entrée into something extraordinary. So, what’s wrong with orange in the garden? A few hot colors in an otherwise pale garden bring the landscape to life. They add spark. Having been around an “anti-orange”
segment of gardeners for quite awhile, I almost succumbed to their discrimination of orange and then…I took a trip to the United Kingdom and all my prejudices melted away. That summer I saw gaudy nasturtiums that made me smile, crocosmia that brought brightness to overcast days and impatiens that set off all the plants that surrounded them. I am a convert to orange.

Nanny’s Garden Flowers Spoiled Me

I have this theory…that many gardeners try to recreate childhood through their gardens; I try to recreate being at my grandmother’s house, Nanny’s house.

I don’t think most people think Hydrangeas have a fragrance but they do. I will always have Hydrangeas because the smell reminds me that I hid under the Hydrangea bushes when my cousins and I played hide n’seek in the summertime.


Nanny had a section of her yard in worn white tall pickets. I love white picket fences especially with sweet peas. This is the first year I have had success with the ‘easy to grow’ sweet peas and I have a small section of picket fence between my neighbors’ garage and ours. I have taken it over.


IMG_4558Since Nanny was a florist she used lilies a lot. It’s the fragrance I love and when we have a normal summer and the weather is cool the Oriental lilies last a long time and make the whole backyard smell sweet.


Oriental Lily 'Golden Splendor'

I don’t remember this one in her garden but I know Nanny would have loved it. Salpiglossis comes in so many bright colors and the colorful veins make it so unusual.


IMG_4555And rounding out a few July Gma plants…some Helenium and an ornamental grass (forgot the name).