Friday, May 8, 2009

Pretty pictures: Orange

Mom was fond of the color orange when I was growing up: we had orange curtains in the kitchen, and orange Tupperware containers for flour and sugar, orange measuring spoons, just orange orange orange. (It was the 70s: people did that then.) I never really cared for it, personally, but I can see how orange flowers in the garden might be nice. A lot of them have been grabbing my attention lately.

Bracteantha bracteata 'Sundaze Flame.'

Younger Co-Worker told me a few days ago that she hated strawflowers. I don't recall her giving any reasons, when I asked why, she just kind of gestured at them, like it was just obvious. Possibly she said something about them being noisy. I told her that I'd heard that only stupid people hate Bracteanthas. Then the next day, Wonderful Co-Worker spontaneously expressed a dislike of Bracteanthas too. I don't know what it is. They seem like perfectly nice plants to me. Last year, they hung around forever, not really selling, and then all of a sudden I came in one day and they were all gone, all sold to the same person. I'm hoping history repeats.

Begonia NOID, possibly 'Britt Dark.' I usually take pictures of the ID tags after taking pictures of the plant: it's faster than writing things down. In this particular case, though, the pictures may have gotten out of order, and so I'm not sure what this plant's proper name is.

Rieger Begonias are one of those plants that have really, um . . . what's the opposite of "grown on me?" "Grown off me?" That doesn't sound right. In any case. I don't know why, exactly: they're tricky to water (too much and the leaves mildew, not enough and the edges of the petals turn brown and hideous), but that's not the entire story. I don't know. Whatever the reason, somewhere along the way I started referring to them in my head as "the vile Rieger begonias," and it's not entirely a joke.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Caribbean Breeze.'

Hibiscus, though, are fine. I was actually incredibly tempted to buy this one when it was around (it's since sold). The picture doesn't do it justice. I held off because of the price (not outrageous, but a little high for what it was) and because Hibiscus are so bug-prone that I'm not sure I want one. I mean, I want one, but not if it's going to get aphids, whitefly, and spider mites.

Calibrachoa 'Tequila Sunrise.' I recommend opening this one, in particular, in a new window.

I like Calibrachoa in general, but 'Tequila Sunrise' in particular. The colors!

Cosmos 'Cosmic Mix.'

Cosmos 'Cosmic Mix.'

'Cosmic Mix' is the only Cosmos we've offered for sale since I've had this job. I know there are other colors and mixes, because we have them for sale as seeds, but for some reason we don't bother with them. I don't know why not. I do love 'Cosmic Mix,' though. Yellow-orange, orange, red-orange. Pretty hot.

Zinnia 'Profusion Apricot.'

Zinnia 'Profusion Apricot' doesn't photograph well: the first batch I took came out looking kind of pink-purple, and the above photo, from the second round, is closer but still wrong somehow. It looks all . . . muddy in a way that the real flowers don't.

Gerbera jamesonii 'Festival Spider Orange.'

We haven't actually had this particular plant around for a couple months, but it's worth throwing in here anyway. Orange is orange. I'm not a big fan of Gerberas, for essentially the same reasons as the Reiger Begonias: they're not easy to keep going at this time of year, when so many other things need our attention too. They tend to either get too wet (in which case mildew) or too dry (in which case wilting). Though like the Riegers, they sell well.

Tagetes patula NOID, probably 'Safari Orange' or 'Durango Orange.'

I like the little marigolds. This year's crop turned out much better than last year's: they're very pretty. We maybe should have started more.

Thunbergia alata.

Got this one in pre-finished as a hanging basket. We started some of our own from seed, too, but they're not really doing anything yet, and I'm thinking by the time they're ready to bloom, it may be too late.


CanadianGardenJoy said...

I have to admit to a secret fascination with orange myself : )
I think perhaps it reminds me of Halloween and the Autumn .. these are awesome pictures of orange plants and reminds me I should have some as well !

Rosemary Waigh said...

Cosmos aren't often sold as bedding plants because they don't like transplanting and are so easy to grow from seed.

Karen715 said...

My mother really liked orange too, and had a lot of it in her decor in the seventies as well. I am also not fond of it as decor, though I sometimes wear it, and I think orange flowers rock.

Go ahead and get yourself an hibiscus if you really want one. I did have aphids on one of my three, but they were fairly easy to get rid of. I've had 2 of my plants for 2 years, and the other for a year, and I haven't had any whiteflies (ugh) or spider mites.

Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ said...

Orange is not my color to wear, but I love the orange flowers. They just make me happy!

Anonymous said...

Aw, orange flowers are my favorite! That hibiscus is simply amazing. To me, they are worth the spider mites, haha, at least for mine, which I can not get rid of these mean bugs but only control them somewhat. His daily orange smiles simply charm me all the time.
Pretty pretty pictures!

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

Okay, you just featured my least favorite color--and I enjoyed all your photos. Does this mean I will plant marigolds with my vegetables? Anything's possible now.

Aiyana said...

Yellow and orange are in abundance in my garden, and lucky for me, I love orange. Your photos are beautiful. The Thunbergia alata is spectacular.

Luke said...

I ill-advisedly used Rieger Begonias in a corporate clients' indoor plant arrangement because of their fantastic color. Needless to say, since I wasn't present 24/7 to tend to their every watering whim, I and my client both experienced a mildew-related falling out. How the average nursery customer keeps them healthy is beyond me!

Kenneth Moore said...

The Tequila Sunrise looks cute, like its mouth is open and it's ready to feed. :-D

Orange is fun, I think, as an accent in a purple garden. I don't know why, but purple flowers and foliage just do it for me--Gynura aurantiaca (purple foliage and orangish flowers? Certainly!), Alternanthera dentata, that purple-flowering Verbena I bought from the farmers' market. A couple of marigolds or whatever scattered among these? Delish!