Blushing Beauties – Harness the Power of Pink
Summer gardens are potentially the brightest and showiest of all the seasons. Plant growth is rapid and the results are proportionately quick and therefore most gratifying. Traditionally, summer is associated with bright and bold colours – red, orange and yellow, with cooler whites and pastels tending to be confined to the more shaded areas. But there is so much more on offer from Mother Nature, like beautiful pink flowers, so be adventurous with colour.
Pink in all its various shades and hues, from the palest white with a gentle rose blush to the most shocking pink, always catches the eye and makes a spectacular show. Use the multitude of pink-flowering annuals, perennials and shrubs to add a different dimension to your summer garden, as there are pink flowers that flourish in every part of the modern landscape.
Pink Flowers in Sun or Shade?
Whenever new plants are added to the garden a few simple questions need to be answered before actual planting takes place. The most important one pertains to sun and shade, as most plants require a specific amount of sunlight in order to flourish. Pink flowers abound in such a huge range that there are shade and sun options to choose from, but make sure that you know the particular sun requirements and tolerance levels of each plant type. Some are more adaptable than others and can grow in a range of light intensities whilst others are less so.
‘Contrasting or complementary’ is inevitably the issue when it comes to selecting colour schemes in the garden. Some gardeners are happy and content with whatever colours prevail, while others are quite pedantic about adhering to very specific colour combinations. Pink shades are vast and variable, offering hues for everybody’s personal preferences. Be sure to combine your pink flowers with other colours that work for you. In colour selection there is no right and wrong – it’s all up to you.
It may be argued by many that some combinations are more right than others, but again that is a matter of conjecture. Be sure to work out a colour scheme that is to your own taste and satisfaction. Plant out these beauties for a pink summer
Angelonia angustifolia is a low-growing perennial for frost-free gardens, but it is treated as a summer annual in colder climates. Masses of small snapdragon-like flowers in terminal spikes cover the plants all through summer. The pink-flowering forms are available in different shades and in various hybrid ranges, like ‘Archangel’ and ‘Serenita’. They grow best in full sun.
Numerous begonia hybrids and species have pink flowers. The recently released Begonia ‘Big Bronze Leaf Rose’ is proving very popular. Tall, multi-stemmed plants grow to 50cm, with lush bronze foliage and large rose-pink flowers for months on end. It is good in dappled shade and sunshine.
Begonia ‘Baby Wing Pink’ is of lesser stature and has green leaves and lighter pink flowers. Both of these beauties last for 2 – 3 seasons in warmer climates. Begonia oadi, commonly called pink pearl begonia, is of the cane (shrubby) type that can reach 1m tall and wide. Large, lush, green waxy leaves show off the pink flowers in clusters to perfection. It is cold and frost sensitive and does best in light shade.
New Guinea impatiens hybrids always add colour to the summer garden. Bestin light shade for optimum flowering, the plants will grow in deeper shade but won’t bloom as much. Many shades of pink and salmon abound in these most rewarding plants, and they also last for more than a single summer season in warmer climates. They are frost sensitive.
Gaura lindheimeri ‘Belleza Pink’ is a topnotch perennial with plenty of pink flowers set against dark maroon-red foliage. It is an excellent plant for full sun and is able to cope with limited water for short periods. A dark pink form is also available. It is good for attracting butterflies and other insects to the garden.
Popular shrubs some 40 or 50 years ago, Pentas lanceolata hybrids are making a comeback to the garden scene, and new seed-produced stock is available locally. They are quick growing and robust shrubs that reach 50cm or more. Flat heads of many star-shaped tubular flowers cover the plants all summer long. The ‘New Look’ and ‘Butterfly’ series are available, including in different shades of pink. It is best in sun or light shade and is cold sensitive.
Heat- and sun-tolerant Portulacaria grandiflora is an annual succulent with double flowers in a wide range of colours. The low, spreading plants bloom all summer long, putting on a spectacular display. Various shades of pink are found in the wide range of bright colours.
Torenia fournieri hybrids are shade enduring annuals for summer. Although they are predominantly blue and white in colour, a pink-flowered form called ‘Kauai Rose’ fulfils the need for this planting scheme. Compact and bushy little plants to some 20cm tall, they are very showy all summer long.