Red And Yellow Aren’t Too Mellow

By Bonnie Grant | May 15, 2022
by Bonnie Grant
May 15, 2022

Every year when I choose some annuals to jump start the color in the garden, I go to the same color palette. Red and yellow. Yellow is my favorite color of all time, although I can’t wear it, while red is just a blast of cardinal that sears across the landscape. The two together are an impressive duo, flashing their tint in companionable fiery colors. 

Red and Yellow Flowers

I have lots of perennials and bulbs that come up every year. They are in many tones and eventually create a harmonious visual cacophony in my garden. My favorites are always in golden and ruby hues. These two colors strike a note with me and their combination blazes together. 

Perhaps it’s my inner pyromaniac, but the hues are found in fire, a thing I love to watch. Plus they echo our colorful sunsets, which come in various tones of yellow and red with a smatter of other tones. 

The Yellows

Yellow flowers feature prominently in my landscape. I have tickseed, marigolds, pansies, mums, and of course tons of sunflowers, my absolute fave. The golden tones scream “happy” in my opinion. My honeysuckle vine is an absolute wonder, cavorting over the arbor that graces the entrance to my property. 

The iris are one of the earliest signs of a golden landscape, blooming in spring and lasting for weeks. But before those are hundreds of daffodils, a cheering omen of warmer weather and the growing season. Ringing in fall are yellow flowers like goldenrod and mums. Not to be neglected are the foliage color in my smoke tree and coleus. 

The Reds

I pepper the garden with red flowers as well. These seem to really set off the yellow varieties and make the whole display pop. I hate roses but did keep the scarlet pair in the secret garden. They are lovely and seem to be a low maintenance variety. I always install red petunias, which run riot through the beds and in containers by the end of the season. Cherry hued tulips are early bloomers, while I seed red cockscomb to enjoy its fuzzy, mutant heads late in the season. I pair red marigolds with the yellow ones for an eye popping display. One of my proudest achievements is the hardy hibiscus out in front of the house. The huge blooms are scarlet and just glorious. In foliage color we have burning bushes whose autumn hues are bright, and a burgundy contorted filbert. 

Winter can be dismal, where there is little color. Keeping some plants indoors that bloom is a way to salve my desire to grow. Even inside, I am currently enjoying the flowers of a miniature pomegranate, and soon my Amaryllis will burst into fiery color. I have a bright yellow and a red bromeliad, whose secrets I have finally teased out and managed to get to re-flower. And if I do it right (14 hours of darkness per day) I get some nicely colored poinsettias just in time for the holidays. 

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