Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Perfect Red Bed... or not!

My favorite color is red.

When planning the front bed of our home, I decided I wanted to have a classic red bed, with red Double Knock Out rose bushes. My sweet children and BHE gave me five of them for Mother's Day. I went ahead and filled in with barn red day lilies, deep purple cone flowers for contrast, and red verbenum. These would all surround a beautiful white Natchez crepe myrtle tree, and be softened by a row of boxwood behind. Doesn't that look beautiful in your mind?

Hmmm, funny how with gardening, things don't always go as planned.

The red roses bloomed... a deep hot pink. "That is not red," I thought, "But I guess it is okay. They are really pretty and profuse with blossoms. I can work with those..." The cone flowers, while more of a pale purple-pink, had a nice reddish center. "Different than I expected, but definitely doable." The verbenum just kept blooming and blooming little red flowers, but a true red, so they didn't clash with the hot pink roses. "Huh, think this might all be okay!"

Ha, ha~Foolish me!

Because then the day lilies bloomed. Barn. Red. Oh, no.

I can live with some things, but I was just not able to look past that garish red flower with the bright yellow center against the hot pink. I just couldn't do it.

Oh, I tried! I waited a year, and then another. I left some of the day lilies there~ moved some to the backyard ("Red Bed," take two!). I planted some pink fountain gaura, and some Autumn Joy sedum, along with some red and pink bee balm, and red and pink Oriental lilies...
And then one day, I couldn't take it anymore. I went out with my gardening shears, and I cut off every single barn red blossom on those day lilies. The greens left behind now provide a pretty filler in amongst the pinks. And all those day lilies? They made a lovely bouquet in my home.

This fall, I plan on transplanting the rest of those pretty barn red day lilies out by the new pavilion at church... where they will be able to bloom in all their magnificent barn red glory!

Anyone else have garden growing stories they'd like to share? I'd love to hear how you have grown with your garden!


  1. The bed around our well started as a maroon & gold (Gophers colors, of course) bed--lilies and daylilies, yellow tulips in the spring, gallardia. But as things would die (wrong soil type, too dry, or any other number of errors) it ended up being my catch-all bed and is now a wonderful mishmash of perennials bought on clearance. Today I dug out the last yellow plant--the yarrow, which had overtaken half of the bed. Tomorrow I'll shop for some spring bulbs to put in its place. Hmmm... likely yellow daffodils...

  2. I like the idea of the red around the church pavilion. I think that will look really nice and change it up a little bit. Maybe then it will be easier to keep the preschoolers out of the rocks when we go down there to do school type stuff with them. I don't really have any gardening stories as I have yet to be able to have my own garden. I do know that our rhododendron is taking over our bookshelf. It was originally taking over our living room window and then I moved it. If you know of someone or a couple of people who would like a portion of one please let me know and I will be glad to pass it on as I need to cut ours back.