I’ve been breathing again. Wednesday was a glorious day for our country and the fireworks at the end of the evening were spectacular. I’ve never been a great fireworks fan but these surpassed anything I’d ever seen before.
The next morning, as I was remembering the fireworks, I immediately thought of a special annual, Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’. Once you see a photo of this magenta annual, you will have no doubt about its naming. It has tons of strong, tall (3-4’) stems that are topped with exploding bursts of large blooms tipped with bright yellow. It’s a showstopper in the garden and a conversation piece when cut for a mixed bouquet. I have one client who can’t live without it.
I frequently read that magenta is an impossible color to work with but I say that is nonsense. In my last post, I mentioned that yellow is a happy color that makes you smile. I feel the same way about magenta. It is so vibrant that it just perks you up.
One of my favorite perennials is Geranium psilostemon. It’s a long bloomer, making its appearance in late May and continuing on stage throughout the summer. Some will say that it is a pest because it seeds but it’s fairly easy to dig out and I love the way it winds itself through other perennials and bulbs.
Its magenta petals have a black center and usually stand two feet tall above very divided foliage. it’s a great mingler.
I’m a big fan of Allium nigrum and Allium atropurpureum but, if you take out the geranium from this composition, what’s left is fairly boring.
For a dose of early magenta, plant Hyacinthus ‘Woodstock’.
If you want year-round magenta, imitate the chairs in the garden of one of my clients.
As you can see, there’s more than one way to use magenta to perk up the garden.