Christina Rossetti wrote the following lines about the colors of summer:
What is pink? A rose is pink
By the fountain’s brink.
What is red? A poppy’s red
In its barley bed.
What is blue? The sky is blue
Where the clouds float through.
What is white? A swan is white
Sailing in the light.
What is yellow? Pears are yellow,
Rich and ripe and mellow.
What is green? The grass is green
With small flowers between.
What is violet? Clouds are violet
In the summer twilight.
What is orange? Why an orange,
Just an orange!
If we can’t grow orange trees in our gardens, we can still have the color orange if we plant Kniphofia ‘Flamenco’. The ‘Flamenco’ is an improved Red Hot Poker that has orange flower spikes in the sun garden.
Ligularia dentata ‘Desdemona’ also packs quite a punch in the shade garden if it has sufficient moisture. Both of these perennial plants give vibrant vertical color in summer and contrast with the other hues Rossetti’s poem celebrates.
Kniphofia ‘Flamenco’ and Ligularia ‘Desdemona’ are available from Bluestone Perennials www.bluestoneperennials.com 1 800 852 5243
Further information about plants, categorized by color and bloom time is found in Andrews, Moya L. “Perennials Short and Tall: A Seasonal Progression of Flowers for your Garden.” Indiana University Press 2008 www.iupress.indiana.edu email: email@example.com