Monday, February 10, 2014

Another Indigo Dilemma

Still cold, a little snow last night, more snow coming later this week. For days it has not gotten out of the 20s during the daytime.

Dilemma #1
I mused earlier this winter about the pink dwarf weigela not playing nicely with the false indigo
'Twilite Prairiebues' near it.

When the smoky purple baptisia blooms it is an odd color combination. I've been thinking this winter I ought to move the weigela in spring. (Baptisias do not move, being tap rooted and fixed in place. And big.)

Now I'm back with exactly the same dilemma but this time it's the false indigo in the Birch Garden.

The white flowered baptisia alba pendula is a striking plant, strongly vase shaped and covered in white flowers. The branches arch and the flowers are frilly, and it is overall a much more attractive plant than 'Twilite Prairieblues'.

But here is dilemma #2 -- it blooms at the same time as the equally pretty and frilly 'Husker's Red' penstemons below it. The combination of small white flower spikes, one in clear white and the other in pinkish mauve-white seems odd.
Dilemma #2

It is compounded by the fact that the delicate white spikes of itea, just behind the baptisia, are starting to bloom too, and they mimic the arching form, the white delicacy, and the overall smallness of the penstemons and the baptisia, but in a completely different shade of creamy white.

It's all too much.

Too much sameness, too much of the same color but off.

I think I want to move the penstemons. They dig up and transplant easily. I could put something with more saturated color and bolder form at the foot of the baptisia.

Where to move the penstemons? Last year I tried a different penstemon, 'Elfin Pink', at the back of the Drive By garden and it was awful. I thought their wild hot pink would go nicely with the dark foliage of the ninebark and the moody dark foliage of the rosa glauca.

But it was too much eye-hurting pink. I took them all out.
No, no, no. This was bad.

But the 'Husker's Red' penstemons are much more refined, have a cooler white hue mixed with complex dark tones and dark foliage--- wouldn't they look nice with the maroon ninebark (the rosa glauca has been moved).

I think that's what I'll do in spring.

I'll move the penstemons to the back side of the Drive By garden, and put something bolder and brighter below the baptisia in the Birch Garden (more of the deep purple 'May Night' salvias? Another pop of bright red 'Drift' rose?)

Then the white arching false indigo in the Birch Garden can have pride of place.

No comments:

Post a Comment