Presentable in Pink

Judy and I are generally not fond of pink flowers, and we don’t have many in the garden. Not sure why. Generally we like really strong colors – but then we both are partial to blue, which is a softer color like pink. Also, there are a few pink flowers that we like, and at least one that we love. I never claimed to be consistent.

Peony 'Abalone Pearl'
Peony ‘Abalone Pearl’

For starters, there is one pink Peony in the garden, ‘Abalone Pearl’. It’s nice, though I like the red and white Peonies better.

Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart
Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart.

OK, this is my favorite pink flower, by a mile. Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis). I love the dangling heart-shaped flowers and the rich green foliage.

4a Bleeding Hearts and Ferns
Bleeding hearts and ostrich ferns.

In the right location, Bleeding Heart grows vigorously. It throws its arching, flowering stems about in a way that is unapologetically flashy. Still, it is an ephemeral, and will go dormant during hot, dry weather.

Bleeding Heart with False Forget-Me-Not
Bleeding Heart with False Forget-Me-Not

Such a perfect plant for moist shade, especially if it is mixed with False Forget-Me-Not (Brunnera macrophylla).

Geranium Biokovo
Geranium ‘Biokovo’.

While Bleeding Heart flowers are a deep pink, in general I find soft, pale pinks the most appealing. Geranium cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo’ is a good example. It’s the only pink Geranium that I like.

DSC_0615 Prairie Rose
Prairie Rose

Another pink flower in our garden is the wild Prairie Rose (Rosa setigera).

DSC_0850 prairie rose

Here’s a wider shot of the plant.


A pink flower we used to grow is Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). I had to pull it out of the garden because it kept getting infected with aster yellows. This picture is from 2012, I think. Why do the call it Purple Coneflower, though? Doesn’t it look much more pink than purple?

2012-09-17 NE aster pink
New England Aster with Pink Flowers

We have the wild New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), which is sometimes pink, sometimes blue, usually purple. Lots of genetic variation from which to draw all those named cultivars.

Do you have a favorite pink flower in your garden?




56 Comments on “Presentable in Pink”

  1. You have a lovely patch of Bleeding Hearts. One of my favourites would be the pink asters too. But I also have a few spring flowers that are pink such as Aquilegias and Epimedium, and a lovely Geranium macrorrhizum. Then the rockery is covered in summer with the pinky red Centranthus ruber that I wouldn’t be without!

  2. Your bleeding hearts are overly. I’ve not always had luck with them. Geranium “Biokova” is such a useful edging plant. I have a David Austen rose “Belle Story” and the good old reliable Queen Elizabeth rose.
    Would you call monarda “raspberry wine” pink? Although you had it in the reds recently.

  3. I am not fond of the color pink except in flowers! I love your collection. My favorite pink flower in my garden are the Indigofera kirilowii, with its pale pink wisteria style flowers. It has a long bloom time and is happy in light shade. Only gets about 2 feet tall so is great for layering.

  4. Ha ha I am the same about red flowers – not overly fond in general, but there are a few I love.

    I have too many pink favorites to count. Have you given the prairie rose a lot of room to grow? Perhaps it grows more in warm climates but I have 2 I grew from seed that extend about 50′ along my driveway now!

  5. I’d like to be the type of person who doesn’t like Pink, but in reality I love it, especially roses, its an easy colour to combine with others with ranges on the blue and red spectrum. Your Prairie Rose is absolutely beautiful, I’d give that a home any day.

  6. Consistency is highly overrated, don’t you think? About the time I declare something out of bounds (a color, a genus) I embarrass myself by falling for something of that ilk. I avoid pink as a general rule, except where it is unexpected, as in foliage or bark. Lately I have been seeing hot pink mixed with orange and purple: that I more than like.

  7. I love many pinks, especially the clear baby pinks, but not all — especially if they pink has noticeable yellow in it. One golden-pink peony that I do like is ‘Pink Hawaiian Coral’. And a very pretty pink iris is the intermediate-bearded ‘Pink Kitten’ – and how can you not love a name like that? 🙂

  8. Pink is not my favorite flower color, but I definitely have many pinks in my garden, including most of the pink plants you are growing. I also have Geranium x oxonianum, which is a lovely clear pink, several varieties of pink astilbe, pink daylilies, pink Siberian irises, and pink phlox, also a pink Clematis “Comtesse de Bouchaud.”

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