Monday, June 13, 2011

Color in the Garden: Pink

I never wanted pink in the garden. Banishing pink was my original gardening activity--even before I had a garden.

In 2009, Aunt Annie, my New York Master Gardener aunt, bought me a Lady-in-Red Lacecap Hydrangea as a house-warming gift because I "needed pink in the garden." Protest did I. {With Aunt Annie, though, one doesn't protest too much.} She insisted: every garden needs a bit of pink. And within seconds she managed to carve out an enormous hole in the hard-as-concrete clay soil--large enough to fit the root ball of a rather mature plant. She's that good.

I relay this tale not to suggest Aunt Annie is belligerent or stubborn; on the contrary. But it is to suggest that Aunt Annie knows. She has an eye for beauty, an eye for the antiquated (she did retire early from nursing and ran an antique shop for over 20 years, from which I have benefited...remember the Wedgwood cobalt blue dessert plates incident?!), an eye for quality.

Imagine my delight when my Lady-in-Red Hydrangea mysteriously turned violet in the alkaline soil, and imagine my disgust when the Nikko Blue Hydrangea, on the other side of the stone patio, turned pink last year. I treated the Nikko Blue with sulfur, but left the Lady-in-Red alone. This year, it has turned this ethereal shade of violet, its arresting glow-in-the-dark quality inimitable.

But seeing the Amethyst Astilbes (which have been pink ever since I planted them) glowing in pink against a backdrop of pale blue hydrangeas, and seeing a swath of pink flowers paired with purple salvia in New York's Washington Square, I am convinced that yes, Aunt Annie was right: I need pink in the garden.

 Pink neutralizes. Pink harmonizes. Pink just seems to make everything right...

No comments:

Post a Comment