Red Hot Reds

Lately I’ve been seeing red. It’s everywhere I look. Red pots, red furniture, red flowers. But I’m not complaining. I like it and lately have been craving it. It could be because our summer here on the coast has been anything but summery. While much of the nation suffers through a heatwave, we have been pretty cool and mild. The sun takes its sweet time breaking through the fog each morning causing the flowers to linger a bit longer in their slumber. Even the tomatoes have been hesitant to ripen. It’s only been this past week that I’ve started seeing that first hint of a color other than green. So, it’s no surprise that the color I’ve been seeking out has been bright and fiery. Creating the container on the left felt more like therapy than work. There’s just something about the power of red to shake things up a bit and make everything seem fresh and new.

Here are some of my favorite reds of the moment. Perhaps you’ll want to add one or more to your garden:

My Ladybird poppies
are finally putting on a show. I love the contrasting black spots. They were planted with the intention of co-mingling with the Penny Black Nemophila, but Penny has come and gone (putting on a fantastic show of its own) and left these poppies to hold down the stage. On dreary mornings seeing this cheerful, happy color is a great way to start the day.

I can almost watch my Cypress Vine
grow. I’m a bit embarrassed to say just how long this packet ofย  seeds sat in that mason jar in the back of my fridge. But let’s just say that with proper storage the seeds stay viable for a long, long time. The red color is so bright that I actually found it a bit hard to photograph. Most likely this will be an annual here in my area, but it is so lovely that I’ll have to make time to save some more seeds.

I already have a red mimulus in my garden, but not this one. This is “Valentine” which is a perfect name for it because I love that color. I have “Jack” which is a more burgundy shade of red. So now I have a problem. Do I stay faithful to Jack or follow my heart and get a new Valentine?

And what about adding some Gaillardia “Burgunder” to the garden. Yes, I already have the traditional blanket flower and a good sized patch of “Oranges and Lemons,” but surely there must be a spot for this beauty.

Pineapple Sage
. Is it any surprise that my resident hummingbird adores this plant and chastises me loudly if I go anywhere near it with pruners? I grow the plant for its fragrant leaves. That minty pineapple scent makes the leaves a great addition to teas or sugar syrups. Just brushing past the plant in the garden is delightful. But this time of year, and especially this year, it’s those flowers that thrill me. That bright clear red is anything but boring.

Do you have a favorite red? Or a favorite color of the moment? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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4 comments for “Red Hot Reds

  1. at 6:22 pm

    So how long DID you keep the cypress vine seeds? ๐Ÿ˜‰ As far as my own favorite red plants, I would have to add russelia, bottlebrush and blood lily. But that’s just me. I really need to try using the pineapple sage in a tea too…

    • Kat
      at 6:35 am

      Those seeds were 5 years old. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Dale
    at 6:09 pm

    I have a red and silver garden, but am thinking that I need another contrasting colour. Any suggestions are appreciated. Perennials are what I am after. Thanks.

    • Kat
      at 11:12 am

      Hi Dale, one of my favorite contrasting colors with red is chartreuse or yellow/green. In addition to making the reds just pop, it also doesn’t blend with other greens and adds more variation to the garden that way. Since you have the silver, however, I might add a bit of a violet red as well. It also goes great with the chartreuse and red, but will help bring out the silver. As for specific plants, it’s hard to give recommendations of plants for locations out of my gardening area but lysmachia ‘Goldilocks’ is a favorite for chartreuse, and there are several salvias that bloom in that violet red color.

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