GARDENS BY THE BAY
PINK PERENNIALS & THEIR COMPANIONS - 2
|British garden writer Christopher Lloyd believes that pink can be a tricky colour to incorporate in the garden, depending on whether the particular hue tends toward the red or the blue end of the spectrum. If red, the result will be salmon shades. If blue, the result may be something more "aggressive".
Choose from colour descriptions ranging from soft and delicate to harsh and bright, from rose-pink to lavender- or lilac- , even orchid-pink, from cool blue-pink to hot-pink and every shade in between.
Of course, personal preference will have a lot to do with which pink shades you choose to add to your beds and borders. Whatever the tone, there are many plant partnerships to choose from below that have been tried by the experts and found to be pleasing to the eye. What better recommendation could there be?
* Watch for the animated hummingbird and butterfly with the plants that attract them. *
The deer icon indicates plants that deer are not usually attracted to.
The best time and method to propagate plants can be found on our image-intensive PROPAGATION page.
To help your plants grow their best, check out our FERTILIZATION page.
To create your own plant partnerships based on tried and true color theory, check out our GARDEN COLOR page.
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Commonly called Campion or Catchfly, this self-seeding perennial for sun or light shade is available in a variety of colours, including orange, red, rose-pink and white. Foliage is usually a silvery-gray which helps to tone down the effects of some of the brighter-coloured forms.
Lychnis coronaria 'Angel Blush': delicate soft pink and white
Lychnis flos-jovis 'Hort's Variety': dark rose colour
echo with: bright pink Phlox amoena or Spiraea japonica 'Alpina'
echo with: Lythrum salicaria (magenta)
echo with: Rosa 'Cardinal de Richelieu' (deep pink old-fashioned) or 'William Lobb', or English Rosa 'Othello'
edger in front of: Paeonia 'Mahogany' (crimson single)
Lychnis viscaria: German Catchfly
If you want to add more of this genus to your collection, explore the information and ideas at the links below.
seen above with: a purple short-spurred Aquilegia
Lychnis with silver foliage
Few gardeners grow Purple Loosestrife these days, having heeded the warnings about how quickly they can take over wetland areas and crowd out valuable plant forms. If you continue to grow them, keep them deadheaded so seeds cannot form and contribute to their invasive spread beyond the bounds of your gardens.
combined with: Achillea x 'Coronation Gold', Lavandula, Lilium, Nepeta x faassenii, Salvia & Veronica
combined with: Lilium martagon (lemon-yellow), Gypsophila paniculata & Stachys byzantina
Lythrum salicaria 'Firecandle': rose-pink
beside: Helenium 'Gold Fox'
Lythrum salicaria 'Morden Pink'
with: Iris, Paeonia, Phlox paniculata, Hemerocallis, Heliopsis, Veronica 'Sunny Border Blue'
with: Papaver, Ornamental Grasses
in shadier spots with: Hosta, Astilbe. Iris sibirica
combined with: Hemerocallis 'Perennial Pleasure' & Hemerocallis 'Prairie Blue Eyes'
The blooms of Mallow look like dainty saucer-shaped hollyhock flowers. Best in full sun, this short-lived perennial will often self-seed. Colour choices are usually pink and white.
Malva alcea: Hollyhock Mallow, pink
Malva alcea 'Fastigiata': Hollyhock Mallow, rose-pink, 3-4'
with: Phlox paniculata, Achillea, Liatris, Artemisia, Artemisia versicolor
with: garden mums (now called Dendranthema)
with: Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam'
Malva moschata: Musk Mallow, pink
with: antique Rosa
with: Dianthus caesius (D. gratianopolitanus) or Dianthus plumarius
echo behind: Stachys byzantina
Malva moschata 'Rosea': Pink Musk Mallow
echo behind: Stachys byzantina
Malva sylvestris 'Zebrina': purple-striped pink or white petals
with: Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum'
For another choice, and partnership ideas, follow the link below.
Bee Balm has fragrant foliage and somewhat shaggy-looking two-lipped flowers which are appealing to hummingbirds. Give them full sun to very light shade in moist soil and they will reward you with a long bloom period, which can be made even longer by regular dead-heading.
Monarda: pink cultivars
Monarda didyma 'Croftway Pink': pink
Monarda didyma 'Marshall's Delight': bright and showy hot-pink
There are so many choices in this genus, many available through the following links. Check out the additional information you may need to grow them well.
numerous Bee Balms
blue Bee Balms
red Bee Balms
white Bee Balms
Sundrops - the name alone can strike fear in the hearts of many a gardener, familiar with their fast-spreading habit. If you still want this plant in your garden in spite of its reputation, try the pink forms below.
Oenothera speciosa: pink
Oenothera speciosa 'Rosea': Showy Sundrops
to intertwine with: the equally aggressive Cerastium tomentosum
with: Nepeta x faassenii, Iris
with: Lavandula, Salvia, Nepeta x faassenii
Try the links below for more Sundrops and information on the care they require.
Sundrops as edgers
The Peony is a long-lived perennial, available in nearly every colour imaginable. The foliage is nearly as attractive as the flowers that appear in spring and deserves to take centre stage once the bloom is over. Be kind to your peonies and make sure you remove spent flowers - even removing those in full bloom for arrangements in your home if heavy rain is predicted, since the weight of the water on the heavy clusters will pull them to the ground anyway.
Paeonia lactiflora: pink
Paeonia lactiflora: pale pink
echo with: Kolkwitzia amabilis
in front of: Anchusa azurea (Anchusa italica), Eremurus (white)
with: Geranium 'Johnson's Blue'
with: Geranium sanguineum 'Album', Salvia 'Miss Indigo' (an intense violet-blue only marginally hardy)
in front of: Thalictrum aquilegifolium (3 white)
behind: Geranium spp. (white forms), Geranium striatum (pink)
beside: Iris sibirica (blue, white or violet)
near: Hemerocallis & Echinacea purpurea
with: Filipendula hexapetalus
with other perennials in front of: Rosa rubrifolia (a shrub whose foliage has washes of purple, blue & gray)
with other perennials in front of: Rosa rugosa 'Jens Munk' (double pink)
with: Achillea 'Moonshine'
Paeonia 'M. Jules Elie': pink
offset in front of: Thalictrum aquilegifolium
Paeonia suffruticosa 'Muramatsu Sakura': very large, double pink
synonym: 'Village of Cherry Pine'
behind: violet Iris sibirica 'Ruffled Velvet'
Have a look at additional choices you might want to consider adding to your garden by following the links below.
red Peony forms
white Peony forms
yellow Peony forms
Everyone is familiar with the papery petals of plants in the Poppy family. Whether you like the early-blooming Oriental Poppies or the later-blooming Opium Poppies you can't go too far wrong.
Papaver orientale: coral-pink
Papaver orientale: salmon-pink
this lovely light-coloured form is a colour echo of the gorgeous co-blooming Iris x germanica 'Beverly Sills' on its right
seen near one another from a distance these two seem to shout out "Look at us. Look at us."
Papaver orientale 'Degas': salmon-pink with dark veins, 24"+
this lovely form can be seen in the border around this page and in the image at the top
generally with: gray-leaved plants
behind: silvery Artemisia
with: Artemisia 'Lambrook Silver', Stachys byzantina
with: Iris sibirica 'Ruffled Velvet', deep blue perennial Salvia
Lots of colour forms of Poppy are available in a variety of species and cultivars. Check out the links below.
Poppies with silver foliage
Beard-tongue and Penstemon are both common names for this sun-loving perennial. Most forms prefer well-drained soil and as a group these perennials should be in more common usage than is currently the case, as there are many lovely forms available in a variety of colours.
Propagation by division is easy, although starting from seed is another method to try. For instructions on starting dozens of species within this genus from seed follow the link to Tom Clothier's
Seed Germination Methodology page.
Penstemon barbatus 'Elfin Pink': clear pink, 12-18"
with: Penstemon barbatus 'Prairie Dusk'
Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red': maroon-red foliage, pale pink flowers
There is more information to be found about this genus at the link below.
Beard-Tongue to attract Hummingbirds
the white flowers and red stems of this cultivar are seen above with: a purple Digitalis
what: University of Nebraska selection, 1996 PPA Perennial Plant of the Year
with: Geranium, Tradescantia, Achillea, Oenothera, Stachys, Yucca, Ornamental Grasses
combined with: Salvia 'May Night' & Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam' in front of Iris sibirica
You may know this creeping plant as Snakeweed or Knotweed. It was once known botanically as Polygonum. It produces showy spikes of pink petal-less flowers over semi-evergreen foliage in either sun or partial shade.
Persicaria affinis 'Border Jewel': Knotweed, Snakeweed, Himalayan Fleeceflower
Persicaria bistorta: Snakeweed
formerly called: Polygonum affine 'Border Jewel'
uses: excellent ground cover, good for garden edges
starts out pale pink as above, deeping through many shades toward rust red over a long bloom period
with: Iris, Astilbe, Hosta, ferns, Ornamental Grasses
There are many phlox forms, from tall to ground-hugging edgers, from sun-lovers to shade-dwellers, from spring to mid-summer bloomers - whatever you choose will provide you with masses of five-petalled flowers in a wealth of colours and tones. If the colour pink is your preference, try any of the forms listed below.
Phlox paniculata: rose-coloured forms
with: Delphinium grandiflorum 'Blue Butterfly', 'Blue Elf' or 'Blue Mirror' & Monarda (pink)
Phlox subulata: pink forms
Phlox subulata 'Rosette': compact, rose-pink
Phlox subulata 'Scarlet Flame': bright pink
with: pink-white Tulipa 'New Design' with white-edged foliage
the two above plants in front: co-blooming Cornus florida
the above three plants near: a white-striped Yucca
My Phlox plants have been in my gardens for many years and to be honest I'm longing for some newer, more exciting forms. I may resort to checking out some of the ideas at the links below myself to plan my shopping list for next year.
numerous Phlox forms
Phlox as edgers
Phlox for shade
Obedient Plant is a great choice for late summer bloom. And if you have the time to move any of its florets to a new position, that's where they will stay -hence the name.
Physostegia virginiana 'Pink Bouquet' or 'Rose Bouquet'
Physostegia virginiana 'Variegata': rose-pink; dark green foliage with creamy margins
generally with: late-summer perennials
with: Boltonia asteroides, Phlox paniculata, Thalictrum, Eupatorium, Solidago, Helianthus, Ornamental Grasses
in front of: Miscanthus sinensis 'Silberfeder' & Aronia (shrub turns brilliant red in fall)
Physostegia virginiana 'Vivid': 24-36", brilliant pink
with: Boltonia asteroides 'Snowbank'
Pink is not the only form of Obedient Plant available. For a different look why not try the white form with the companions recommended to plant with it at the link below.
white Obedient Plant
Free-flowering Balloon Flower is one of the best summer perennials, with blue-green, glossy foliage. Always handle carefully as its long, fleshy roots can be damaged easily. It can be planted in spring or early fall. Be sure to add lots of organic matter at planting time so plants will be content in their position for many years.
Balloon Flower can be propagated by seed. Either sow in fall into pots in a protected location outdoors OR sow indoors in winter. Germinate at 60-70 deg. F. Seedlings may take 2 years to bloom. Plants may even self sow in your beds. When this happens it is easy to move a seedling elsewhere to avoid having to divide an established plant with the risks inherent in that process.
Unfortunately, to my mind at least, the pink of these Balloon Flower forms is very pale. I'd much prefer a rich, robust pink hue myself. If you know of one, I'd love to hear about it.
Platycodon grandiflorus 'Astra Pink': light pink, 8-10"x6-8"
uses: cut flowers, containers, borders
with: Gypsophila paniculata, Lavandula angustifolia, Dianthus, Leucanthemum superbum
Platycodon grandiflorus 'Fuji Pink': a seed strain, 2-3' tall, pure pink flowers, silvery-green foliage
with: Gypsophila paniculata, Lavandula angustifolia, Phlox paniculata, Dianthus deltoides
Platycodon grandiflorus 'Shell Pink': pale pink flowers, 24"x18-24"
bloom time: late May to August
behind: Cerastium tomentosum
If the above forms aren't enough and you're wanting to know more, try the following links.
blue Balloon Flower forms
purple Balloon Flower forms
the "special" Balloon Flower
white Balloon Flower forms
Kiss Me Over The Garden Gate adds a touch of the exotic to the late summer garden. Able to reach as high as 8 feet, this self-seeding annual also known as Prince's Feather has olive green leaves and graceful, arching sprays of bright flowers, usually pink, rose or deep ruby-coloured.
Polygonum orientale: Kiss Me Over The Garden Gate
with: Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William), pansies, Gypsophila paniculata
for bright contrast among: soft yellow or cream-coloured Calendula or Delphinium
A wonderful choice for shaded areas in the garden, Lungwort will provide interest in every season - from the spring flowers to the season-long attractive appearance of its variegated foliage.
Pulmonaria saccharata 'Mrs. Moon': pink-blue Bethlehem Sage, 12"
where: shady sites
under: Dicentra, spring bulbs i.e. Narcissus, flowering trees & shrubs
with: ferns, white Tulipa, Muscari, Lychnis coronaria 'Alba', Helleborus, Anemone;
combined with: Primula vulgaris & white Narcissus 'Thalia'
For more information about growing Pulmonaria, and ideas for the perfect partners to plant with it, follow the link below.
Pulmonarias for shade
Pulmonarias with silver foliage
Pulmonarias with variegated foliage
Soapwort is a useful perennial for sun to very light shade where it will quickly cover a sizeable area of ground and cover itself with masses of small flowers starting in mid-spring. Plant it in rich, moist, humusy soil for best performance.
Saponaria ocymoides: Rock Soapwort
where: along walks, edging beds, front border position, rock gardens
with: Artemisia, Achillea, Hemerocallis, Veronica spp, Sedum, Coreopsis verticillata 'Moonbeam'
Pincushion Flower with its rounded flower heads and prominent stamens does indeed look like a pincushion. It prefers neutral to slightly alkaline soil and blooms over a long period if kept deadheaded.
Scabiosa columbaria 'Pink Mist': lavender-pink
with: Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue', Lavandula, Festuca 'Elijah Blue'
with: Geranium cinereum 'Ballerina' or 'Laurence Flatman'
near: mauve creeping thyme, Viola labridorica, Saxifraga (white) & a small version of Saxifraga 'London Pride'
in front of: Thalictrum 'Thundercloud'
Pincushion Flower in various colours would make a nice addition to any garden. For instructions on growing this perennial and partnership ideas as well, try the links below.
Checker Mallow has long been one of my favourite perennials, with its hollyhock-like small flowers. Happy in full sun and well-drained soil, it often seeds around the mother plant, but never invasively. This is one you'll be delighted to have extras of in your own garden or to provide to friends.
Sidalcea malviflora 'Mr. Lindbergh': rosy-pink
Sidalcea malviflora 'Party Girl': bright pink, 42"
with: Eryngium, blue Campanula, Achillea, Gypsophila paniculata, Echinacea purpurea, Ornamental Grasses
amid: silvery foliage plants
with: Perovskia atriplicifolia, white Phlox paniculata, pink Oenothera
There are many forms of this plant, commonly known as Campion or Catchfly, both annuals and perennials. Strangely enough, I haven't found many references providing suitable companions for this group.
Silene schafta: Moss Campion, Catchfly, Schafta Pink, rose-pink
where: edger, rock gardens, spilling over rocks
with: other low perennials, small Ornamental Grasses
The foliage of Meadow Rue is usually blue-green and lobed. Flowers vary from one form to another but are always attractive. Give them full sun as long as moisture is adequate, otherwise a bit of shade is appreciated.
Thalictrum aquilegifolium: lilac-pink
Perhaps you would like a white effect somewhere in your garden. If so, you might be interested in checking out the following link.
white Meadow Rue
at base of: Acer palmatum (a dark-red-leaved form) for striking contrast
Whether grown for use as herbs in cooking, draping over a rock edge at the front of a garden, as a perennial groundcover or simply for the scent, Thyme will surely please in its many forms including the pink-flowered ones below.
Thymus doerfleri 'Bressingham': greyish carpeting plant, pink flowers
where: as groundcover, edger, walls
Thymus 'Moonlight': light pink
possible synonyms: Thymus leucotrichus or Thymus nitidus
where: in rock gardens, as edger
Many more choices can be found below.
Thyme as edgers
Thyme with silver foliage
Thyme with variegated foliage
Spiderwort, occasionally referred to as Widow's Tears, with its saucer-shaped, three-petalled flowers, is happiest in at least a bit of shade. Dead-heading will promote continued bloom. Cut the entire plant back when it begins to look bedraggled to force new foliage to grow up that will provide a fresh new appearance.
Tradescantia: an unnamed small-flowered magenta-coloured form
Tradescantia x andersoniana 'Pauline': orchid-pink
the colour magenta seems to be experiencing a resurgence in today's gardens, in blooms such as the one above
with: Tradescantia x andersoniana 'Red Cloud'
This perennial will grow well almost anywhere you put it. And the various colour choices make it easy to fit into almost any situation as well as to find suitable partner plants to put with it. Try some of the ideas that follow.
There are a number of Verbena forms, some better known than others, and in a variety of colours. Some are tender. Others like the one below are fully hardy. Shear plants back after the first flush to encourage new bloom. Most like hot and dry locations.
Verbena canadensis: Rose Verbena, rose-pink, 18-36", Zone 4
generally: to tie mixed plantings together, as "weavers" among foliage plants,
between flowering perennials,
among: Yucca, Artemisia, Verbascum, Ornamental Grasses
with: Echinacea, Rudbeckia, Asclepias tuberosa, Achillea
See what additional choices are available by following the link below.
There is surely something for everyone in this large group of perennials commonly called Speedwell. The pink forms below are only a few of this versatile family of plants.
Veronica dabneyi: Pink Speedwell, pale pink, 6"x12"
where: rock gardens, edger
Veronica pectinata 'Rosea': rose-pink with a pink "bird's eye", soft gray-green foliage
with: pale yellow dwarf Iris x germanica, Iberis, Aurinia
over: late red Tulipa
Veronica spicata 'Red Fox': Spike Speedwell, deep rose-pink, compact
Veronica 'Heidikind': deeper pink that 'Minuet'
generally with: rounded plants
with: Veronica longifolia 'Icicle' or Veronica spicata 'Blue Spires'
with: Coreopsis, Asclepias tuberosa, Achillea, Geranium, Hemerocallis, Ornamental Grasses
in front of: (double white) Chrysanthemum x superbum & Delphinium 'Summer Skies'
beside: Gypsophila paniculata 'Rosy Veil' (pale pink)
echo with: edging for gallica Rosa 'Rosa Mundi' (a fragrant antique with petals striped crimson, pink & white)
I would probably choose the Veronicas as my favourite perennials of all time. Perhaps because I love the colour purple and so many of them are various shades in the purple range. But there is something charming about the plants themselves, from the tiniest ground huggers to the tall and stately forms. And many of them will keep producing repeat blooms if you spend the time dead-heading them carefully to promote new buds. If you don't have any in your garden yet, why not consider any of those that follow.
Veronicas as edgers
Veronicas with silver foliage
TO RETURN TO THE FIRST PAGE OF PINK PERENNIALS & THEIR COMPANIONS, FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW.
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GARDEN POETRY |
GARDEN POETRY MUSE
GEORGIAN BAY VIEW
BOTANICAL LATIN - BASICS
CORNER GARDEN CONSTRUCTION  |
CORNER GARDEN PLANTING |
EAST GARDEN |
HOSTA GARDEN |
NORTH GARDEN |
BLUE PERENNIALS Aconitum -
Iris - Vinca
BULBS Allium - Hyacinthus |
Narcissus only |
Tulipa only |
BUTTERFLY MAGNETS Anaphalis - Hemerocallis |
Liatris - Veronicastrum
DAYLILIES Spider & Unusual Form
EDGERS Arabis - Iris |
Nepeta - Veronica
Alchemilla - Tanacetum
HOSTA Hosta - all
HUMMINGBIRD-FRIENDLY PERENNIALS Alcea - Salvia
ORANGE PERENNIALS Achillea - Tulipa
ORNAMENTAL GRASSES Acorus - Imperata |
Miscanthus - Spodiopogon
PINK PERENNIALS Achillea - Lilium |
Lychnis - Veronica
PURPLE PERENNIALS Aconitum - Liatris |
Polemonium - Veronica
RED PERENNIALS Achillea - Veronica
SHADE PERENNIALS Aegopodium - Erythronium |
Ferns - Polemonium |
Polygonatum - Vinca
SILVER FOLIAGE PERENNIALS
Achillea - Cerastium
Cornus - Limonium
Lunaria - Veronica
SIMPLY SPECIAL PERENNIALS Acanthus - Saxifraga
WHITE PERENNIALS Achillea - Iris |
Kalimeris - Yucca
YELLOW PERENNIALS Achillea - Hypericum |
Inula - Verbascum
VARIEGATED-FOLIAGE PERENNIALS Acorus - Erythronium |
Hakonechloa - Lysimachia |
Miscanthus - Yucca
Dianthus 'Tiny Rubies' |
Geum coccineum |
Kerria japonica |
Paeonia tenuifolia |
Papaver somniferum |
Salvia 'East Friesland'
Veronica 'Sunny Border Blue'
DIVISION - SPRING ONLY |
DIVISION - FALL ONLY |
DIVISION - SPRING OR FALL |
DO NOT DIVIDE
ORNAMENTAL GRASSES |
LOCAL GARDENS |
GARDENING BOOKS |