April 29, 2012

Fairy Wings and Bubblegum

The tiny bright yellow fairy wings open in April.  They are delicate as spun gold.
The fairies wear ballgowns of rich red and green brocade.

But who invited them to a ball where the decorations are bubblegum pink?

This is what happens when you go from close up to long shot.  Aack.

I can't get used to the bronzy gold and yellow Epimedium perralchicum 'Frohnleiten' paired with the hot pink flowering dogwood.  They bloom at the same time. This was not intended.

I keep thinking about moving the epidmediums.  Should I?  

It's only a small patch, spreading very slowly from right to left down the slope.  The rust and golden tones are tempered by some green things at ground level that you can see in the longer shot.  There is daylily foliage, a low birds nest spruce, some emerging hostas.  Green lawn helps mitigate the effect I suppose.

Really, this planting doesn't work together.  So don't focus on the long view.  Enjoy the fairy wing epimediums up close, as they should be seen, and then squint when you step back.
 
 

18 comments:

  1. I guess I just think of them both as spring colors and am good with it, but if the look is not working for you, then move them. I had a similar issue with some blue flowers in my front garden. I just didn't like them with the purples. Now, they're in the back garden. Grab a shovel and start digging! Good luck.

    Both are beautiful by the way. :-)

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    1. Gardener on Sherlock, Good advice. I am trying to like the combination but every time I look they bother me. You got the job done with your blue flowers, and I may do the same. Now where's my shovel?

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  2. I'm not sure you need to move them. The red edging on the new Epimedium foliage connects well to the pink dogwood. Maybe if there were one thing to bridge the gap (in height and color) between the two, that would make it more appealing to you. I'm going to go out on a limb here (not knowing you or your plant tastes) but I saw some snapdragons this weekend with a pink flower and a yellow center. It would be a perfect bridge between your two existing plants. Just a suggestion.

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    1. Ellen, I had not thought about a mid layer that combines the two color tones. I do love snapdragons (I had a perennial one in another garden but it bloomed later, in late spring). I wonder if I could find one like you saw. . . and would it bloom in April at the right time? Hmmm. Thanks for the creative suggestion!

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  3. I think it looks fine but if it really bugs you, take out the epimediums and plant columbine. Amsonia would be beautiful, too. Actually, amsonia and columbine together would be fabulous!

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    1. Tammy, I need to rethink columbines. I have them in another garden and I never warmed up to them. Many reverted to purple from other lovely colors, and leaf miner meant I was cutting down the foliage just when it was creating a filler in empty spots. They were scattered around my garden in onesies, never used to effect in any spot.

      But under this tree, in a more cohesive planting with the tree above, they could work much better. I really do need to reconsider how to use columbines well. Still learning. . . .

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  4. I actually think it looks beautiful! I know a lot of people don't like pink with yellow, but I am not one of them. However, what is important is your own opinion. Move the epimediums if you must. I think Casa Mariposa's idea is a good one.

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    1. Deborah, this is the third time I have been jarred by pink and golden yellow in plants I have put together... I had two other plant combinations that were exactly the same problem. I keep repeating this color mix in different places, and it bugs me each time!

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  5. I don't mind this arrangement at all. I think it is just fine. Love those little fairy blooms.

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    1. Lisa, I love the little delicate fairy wands too... just not the color where it's placed! But epimedium is a sweet plant to see close up.

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  6. The epimediums are lovely. Do you have another spot in mind?

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    1. Larkspur, I actually do have a spot in mind under the Orange Dream Japanese maple that I posted about a while ago. I don't need the colors of the epimedium and the tree above it to match, exactly, but the maple and the fairy wings are both bright and bronzy and give a pop from afar in the early spring view.

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  7. Spring flowering trees are so brief, it really is a short time to have this vignette. I too do not mind this combo because it just screams Springtime. Maybe some late flowering bulbs added in to marry the composition, like Flaming Purissima Tulip. It would give the bed a little mid-height at 18 inches and the color of the tulip is pale ivory, yellow and warm rose, with a mid green.

    Is that daffodil foliage? Maybe swap it out with this mid to late April flowering tulip. If your dogwood is normally a May bloomer, try Apricot Parrot Tulip at 20 inches. But them again, with a short bloom time your scene will be brief anyway and your satisfaction should be year round. In my own garden this happens as well in odd blooming years such as this.

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    1. Donna, You are the second commenter to offer great suggestions for a mid level plant to tie together the colors and blend the heights (you have a photographer's eye!) Tulips are deer magnets here, and this dogwood is on our deer herd's traditional path up from the pond, so I might struggle with keeping tulips from decapitation. But I am liking the ideas you give me about color and height mixes. Thinking . . .

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  8. Leave the epimediums, Laurrie; the colors work but only if you think they work. I do. Surprise is good.

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    1. Lee, I think you are really squinting when you look at this combo! I am glad you like it. I am trying to.

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  9. I don't mind this combination at all but it's more important that you like what you see. It will always bug you if you aren't happy with it. If there's a different plant begging to be put there instead then get out your shovel.

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    1. Marguerite, other commenters do like this combination, so it makes me question why it bothers me. But it does! I just need to decide if I add plants to create a mid level that ties them together, or whether I should get the shovel out.

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