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.
For starters, there is one pink Peony in the garden, ‘Abalone Pearl’. It’s nice, though I like the red and white Peonies better.
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.
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.
Such a perfect plant for moist shade, especially if it is mixed with False Forget-Me-Not (Brunnera macrophylla).
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.
Another pink flower in our garden is the wild Prairie Rose (Rosa setigera).
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?
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?
You have quite a collection of pink for someone who claims not to like it! Your light is probably quite strong and stronger colours tend to work better. I had more pink flowers in my English garden here is just looks bleached out and grey.
In the front garden the light is quite strong in summer.
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!
I’ve been tempted by Centranthus Ruber. My Bleeding Hearts do make me happy.
I love the bleeding hearts too. I planted several more last year but they can be short lived in our hot and dry summers, so fingers crossed they return this spring. I’m enjoying your color series.
I hope your BH come back for you. They are pretty long lived here in a moist and shady spot.
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.
Biokova does make a great edging plant – a groundcover, too. I do think of Raspberry Wine as red, seems too deep for pink.
I have a Monarda that was given to me years ago. It is a bubble gum pink. Think Bazooka. My other pink that I like is the geranium Biokovo. It looks so delicate yet is so very tough.
Biokovo is definitely tough. Gets by with very little water.
Pink roses and peonies in particular come to mind as plants I’d miss. I like to see pink delphiniums too. I find it a very forgiving colour for photography – especially a pure, soft pink.
I have never seen pink delphiniums. Didn’t realize about the photography angle.
I have some pink astilbes that I wouldn’t do without. So bright yet ethereal in the shade.
I don’t grow any Astilbes, but I know they can be really nice in a shade garden.
I love them. They have ethereal look, as though they just escaped from fairy land.
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.
Not familiar with Indigofera. Sounds like a good plant for the shade garden.
I’m a big fan of bleeding heart. My other favourite is an astilbe, Veronica Klose, that is a sharp pink. In the shade, the blooms really pop out.
Maybe we should start a Lamprocapnos society. True about pink in the shade.
I like your pretty-in-pink flowers. That bleeding heart/false forget-me-not is a winning combo!
I first saw it at the Chicago Botanic Garden. They had a whole hillside full of that combo!
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!
I have to say my Prairie Rose is not thriving. It has not used up all the room it has available. Not sure why – maybe not enough sun?
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.
What kind of person doesn’t like pink? Whatever kind it is, I suppose I’m not entirely like that either.
I like fern leaf bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis,) both for its foliage and its summer long bloom. These days there are many choices among hybrids but I still like the simple old fashioned plant.
I’m not all that fond of fern leaf bleeding heart – it seems rather meager. Don’t you mean Dicentra eximia?
Yes. I must have been typing one thing and thinking of another.
I like using fern leaf bleeding heart as an under planting around shrubs and along the shady side of buildings. The foliage is nice even when it isn’t blooming.
My #1 favorite pink flower every year is always my Bleeding Hearts. I could grab a chair and just hang out looking at the amazing beauty of that plant’s flowers. I also have pink peonies and coneflowers. 🙂
I agree about the Bleeding Hearts, especially when they settle in and create a great big clump.
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.
Frequently, though not always, I find that time changes dislike to fondness when it comes to a genus of plants. Colors are more complicated, though.
I think pink looks better in climates like that of the North West or Britain where light is often more diffuse. Where light is very bright, pink tends to be washed out, but under an overcast sky it can look quite good.
You are right, I think.
Love your bleeding heart and your peony, delightful. I tend to steer clear of pink these days, simply because I have so much of it in the garden here!
Well, if you already have a surplus, no reason to get more.
I like your wild Prairie Rose, especially with the sun shining on it. I do like brightly coloured flowers, but I think pink flowers are cooling in summer….
I like strong-colored flowers best. I suppose it depends on the shade of pink as to whether or not it is cooling.
Bleeding Heart is my favorite, too. I have a weakness for old-fashioned flowers and, when we lived in Alaska, my Bleeding Heart was the only perennial that the moose didn’t eat!
Well, then it should be the star of the moose-proof garden. How long did you live in Alaska? I’ve never been, but Judy has taken business trips to Anchorage in February.
Your pinks are, dare i say it, pretty. Like you, bleeding hearts are my favorite pink flowers. I like screaming strong pinks better than the pastel pink as they work better with red, orange, and other strong colors in my garden.
I have a mix of pinks – some a soft blush, some dusty, some leaning toward purple. I can like them all in the right time and place.
Your Bleeding hearts and ostrich ferns look great together. I profess not to like pink, but have ended up with a lot of pink flowers anyway, some pass-alongs and some things I purchased. Cleome, cosmos are two I really like.
I think I dislike pink more in theory but often like it well enough in practice.
That is a very successful patch of bleeding heart. They look great en masse
Yes, it is a great plant for growing in masses.
I have a large proportion of pinks and purples in the garden, the one think I do like is that many of them display a certain amount of luminescence at dusk.
That luminous quality at night is something I associate with white flowers, though I can see pink could have it also.
I agree with some of the folks who say they aren’t crazy about pink except in flowers. I have quite a few pink flowers, and I enjoy them immensely. Many of your favorites are mine, as well. Beautiful photos, as always.
Thanks! I’m intrigued by the idea of not liking a color in general but liking it with flowers.
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? 🙂
Any flower named ‘Pink Kitten’ has to be adorable.
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.”
I didn’t even know there were pink Siberian Irises.
I love my Swamp Rose, peony and echinacea! Seeing pink hyacinths in early spring is a delight too!
I’d like to try Swamp Rose, does it need full sun?