A Garden Dressed In
Red is a very powerful color.
Hummingbirds love the color red, too.
Red is exciting, passionate, sexy and emotionally-charged. It is not, by
any means, restful.
Because of that, I wouldn't use it as my main color scheme in my
meditation and zen gardens, except for a few lilies or potted plants
placed among the others. I would, however, use it in my other Asian
designs, Buddha Gardens, Hindu Gardens, and Japanese Gardens. Reds are
featured in almost all Asian style design. It's a color you can't
ignore, and is always a good focus in a planting.
A totally red garden might sound
over-whelming, but the addition of foliage plants, vines and berries,
and shots of color within the planting make it a show-stopper. The
accessories and seating you choose will bring it all together
beautifully. A red bistro set or red-painted bamboo bench, a red arch or
trellis placed in different areas of the garden... it just adds to the
beauty of a red garden, and ties it all together. Mixing a little black
and metallic golds is very classy, too.
Red plants in red planters are
gorgeous. The contrast is the green foliage and soil or pebbles. Black
is also a great color for planters in a red garden (many have red, black
or gold designs on them). Large metallic-look gold planters for dwarf
trees puts that plant over the top.
I grow Hardy Giant Hibiscus in a
deep red color, and it's an incredible sight along my fence facing the
street. An awesome daily photographic opportunity, as well. Red makes a
statement, and it can't be ignored. You can't ignore 6 ft. tall dark
green stalks with 10-12" tropical-looking blooms with yellow
centers, growing all along the stalk, now can you? Hummingbirds and
butterflies can't ignore them, either.
There are many plants - annuals,
perennials, shrubs, bulbs, trees, ornamental grasses and evergreens with
red berries.... that can fill your red garden with gorgeous color spring
through late fall. Sometimes, into winter.
Deadheading your red flowers
prevents that wishy-washy reddish-pink color you get when red flowers
All red with shots of bright yellows
and whites makes a big statement, as well. I mixed plantings of bright
red chrysanthemums, and added Butterfly Weed (asclepias). The tall and
narrow Butterfly Weed comes in a deep yellow, as well as a mixed red and
yellow variety. Stunning when seen together. And you get Monarch
Butterflies visiting all day long.
Red is fun to work with in the
garden. all reds are not the same and some look better together than
others. There are reds ranging from fire engine reds, to cherry reds,
sunset reds, purply-reds, and all shades of dark burgundies and blood
reds. There are even red flowers so dark, they're almost black. I like
that in a foliage plant. If you make teas and potpourris, as I do, the
petals of most of these plants are a treasure trove. The hips from the
red roses will keep you in vitamin C all winter.
Fabulous Red Perennials
Included plants that are
ornamental shrubs featuring red twigs or branches in fall and winter.
Feel free to add a little color
depth by adding plants that bear deep orange berries or fruits that are
very close to being red.
Some of My Favorite mostly Red
Perennial Plants and flowers (flowers and foliage)
Penstemon (Penstemon ‘Cherry Sparks’)
Tubular red flowers from midspring through late summer; hummingbird
Size 8 to 20 in. tall, 14 to 16 in. wide
Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9
Red "Knockout" Shrub Roses
I have several, and they bloom their heads off from May until winter
kills them. Fast growers with a beautiful fragrance.
Climbing Red Roses
"Double Delight" Rose - A combination of red, carmine, cream
Red Hardy Giant Hibiscus "Luna Red"
I grow these along my fence in the front yard, and they're stunning
2 to 3 ft. tall and wide
Cold hardy in USDA zones 5 to 10
Stunning along a fence line and as a backdrop for other perennials in
Blooms all along it's stem in rotation mid-summer through fall.
Red Wild Columbine
Bleeding Heart - Red and White, and
White and Red
Vines - There are vines with red
flowers, red berries, or red variegated foliage
Red varieties of Clematis
Red and Red-ish Fruits
Strawberries - Always beautiful plants with big red berries, little
white flowers and bright green leaves. I plant mine in tall raised
garden beds. The "daughter" vines with little plants hanging
over the tall boxes is just beautiful.
Dwarf Pomegranate Tree
Ornamental Trees With Lots of Red
- Grow the dwarfs as focal points in big pots in the centers of the
garden beds, or on either side of a structure.
Red Japanese Maple "Emperor
Dark red foliage that turns brilliant scarlet in fall, interesting
15 to 20 feet tall, 12 to 15 feet wide
Cold hardy in USDA zones 5 to 8
Other Red Japanese Maples
I grow several dwarf varieties in
pots. They're all gorgeous and have incredible fall colors, including
bright and dark reds. Potted Japanese Maples look awesome wherever
they're planted. Some have unusual leaves and branches, many have a
weeping habit. They're not as finicky as you might think. Japanese
Maples make excellent focal points in the center of a garden bed, in the
center of your front yard, or on the side of doors and arches.
They grow slowly, and pruning is not necessary, unless you want to shape
"Fireworks" Fountain Grass
Check out our Winter
Garden design to learn about ornamental evergreens that bear red
berries or flowers. Our Autumn
Colors Garden design also has a list of reds and near-reds
for your garden plan.
Add some potted
Red annuals that play well with other plants in sun and shade, sitting
in a garden bed, on steps, and in hanging baskets. Begonias, impatiens,
Park Seed Co.
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