Continuing our weekly piece on the varying colour schemes of a garden and how best to compliment and consolidate them, this week the colour is pink – a colour that will bring a soft, warm glow to any border. The paler pinks can also be good in gardens used mainly in the evening, or in shade, as they will stand out well in gloomy conditions.
1. Camellia williamsii ‘Debbie’
This large evergreen shrub will provide a rich, glossy, emerald foliage all year round and clear pink, double blooms in the spring time. The flower is a dense, almost spherical shape with showy petals. For best results one should guard ‘Debbie’ from factors like extreme cold and hard winds. Avoid planting in east facing positions as morning sun on frosted buds will cause damage, but she will grow in full sun or partial shade. Covering the foliage and new buds with fleece in the colder months can be beneficial. The stem and roots of the flower are fairly hardy and thus will require little preparation before planting - the key element is the soil, which should be loose and well drained, and possessed of an acidic Ph. level.
2. Nerine bowdenii ‘Pink Triumph’
This bulbous perennial is characterised by upright, leafless stems that will produce open umbels of hot pink, funnel-shaped flowers, generally in groupings of seven, late in the summer to early autumn. The ideal planting conditions for the Triumph are composed of a medium density, well-drained soil that is fairly fertile and lies in full sun. This drainage becomes essential in face of frost, which can undermine the specimen’s full hardiness to colder conditions - ensure regular mulching in this instance.
3. Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’
A deciduous perennial plant, the Paeonia will show attractive, dark green foliage from spring to autumn and very large, pale pink, bowl-shaped blooms in early summer in the form of frilled petals and a fragrant centre. This variety will thrive in a rich, dense, fertile soil, regardless of its acidity, and should be provided with full sun and regular mulching to ensure good drainage. It is important not to disturb once planted, so don’t try to increase you stock by division! You should also note that all parts of this cultivar can upset the digestive system if consumed, so it is ill advised to plant them in an area frequented by household pets.
4. Rosa ‘Pink Perpetue’
This is a vigorous rose with a climbing habit and as such is best trained to a wall or pergola. It will yield deep pink blooms from mid-summer to early autumn and thick foliage year round if given the correct conditions. Rosa prefers a rich and well-drained soil, the obvious shelter that a wall guarantees and full sunlight, While the Perpetue is suited to most types of soil content and Ph. level, it is vulnerable to a number of different pests which may include Caterpillars, Spider mites and Leaf hoppers. You should also watch for signs of disease, particularly Mildew, Black Spot disease and Rose Rust and treat promptly.
5. Sedum spectabile‘Brilliant’
This perennial produces large, dense clusters of diminutive, star-shaped blooms from late summer to mid-autumn. These will form at the crests of thick, succulent stems littered with elliptic grey-green leaves while the flowers themselves will be bright pink with darker centres. Plant in full sun, a moderately fertile soil and make sure it’s well drained.