Friday, September 14, 2012

Yellow Flowers -- Blooming Sunshine

Reflective, structural, colorful, complementary-- yellow flowers provide it all. From the moment each tiny daffodil first casts its glow over the dull winter landscape, to the last golden maple leaf drifitng downward towards winter's cold arrival--golden tones anchor the happy garden.

Colors undeniably touch our souls.  Red invokes passionate thoughts of love or anger (or both.)  Blue reflects the sky and encourages calmness and serenity. 
Yellow provides the highest impact, with the least effort.  Golden plants are notoriously low maintenance.  Sturdy members of the plant community, there's always a need and a place for these mirrors of sunshine.
Daffodil bulbs can be planted en masse or in tiny pockets of surprise.  Their fading foliage can be easily cut back or allowed to disappear beneath late spring arrivals.  Squirrel permitting, Daffodils will reappear for many years with no need for nutritional or liquid supplement. Plant a few extras in a hidden location to clip for the kitchen or hall table.  
Soon after, sunny forsythia brightens up everything from freeways to grocery lots.   

Later, throughout the warm months, waves of gold replicate in masses of liriope, cut flower and yarrow.

Golden hosta lighten up shaded spots.

Late summer's when the luminous show hits its peak.  Deep yellow petals framing blackened centers announce the arrival of hardy Black Eyed Susans.  These long blooming mainstays require little maintenance and last through fall.  Planted in a sunny location, they will thrive, needed only cutting back in late fall, after the dried blooms have turned a dusky fallish brown. Even in partial sun, the show's not as elaborate, but still plant-worthy. Leave Susan in for winter interest.  Sturdy stems stand up to early snowfall.  Susans are easily divided and transplanted.  By the second season following movement, the plants are well established.

Yellow plants may not be exotic, scarce  nor uncommon, but they're the backbone of a busy garden.  Shying away from the common golden Stella D'Oro after seeing it in practically every commercial planting, I relented and included bunches in the yard, dotting the main approach.  Stella's still there, as reliable and colorful as ever, most years blooming in both late spring and early fall. 

The assertive tone may imply the need to grab the limelight, but the true value of golden plants is the contrast provided to deeper hues of purple, violet and blues.  Planted next to blue salvia, lavender, or hot pink phlox, yellow blooms accentuate their purple hued counterparts to perfection.  Neither outshines the other.

Blooming sunshine.  Points of light. Warmth, brightness and essential for any garden. 

Yellow thrives in the wild.  Atop a dry summer mountain, the only color is gold.

Truly, there's always a place for sunshine. 

Even on a cloudy day. 
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