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Friday, July 24, 2015

Pretty Petals in Pink

We can easily call flowering plants eye candy.

Flowers that are bright are attractive to birds, insects and animals. This attraction is what the plants need to reproduce and continue to survive. Flower colors of red, pink, blue and purple come mainly from pigments called anthocyanins, which are in the class of chemicals called flavanoids. Flavanoids are what give plants their color, found in the genetic hereditary genome of the plants.

That explains the very practical reason for nature's beautiful visual displays, but for us the symbolism of color goes far beyond that. Color has a very real impact on our minds, emotions and attitudes.

The color pink is the color of universal love. Love of oneself, love of beauty, love of warmth and nurturing others. A quiet color, pink represents friendship, affection, inner peace and harmony. Passion and anger represent the color red, purity and openness represent the color white. Those two blend to give us a gentle tint to lessen feelings of anger and unhappiness and surround us with a sense of love and protection. 

Though pink has primarily been recognized as a feminine color and the sweetness of little girls, this color is actually an important symbol for hope and awareness. We see a pink ribbon and immediately think of the hope to conquer breast cancer. In Japan, pink has a masculine association. The pink cherry tree blossoms are a representation of fallen Japanese warriors.

In color therapy, pink is used for grief, loneliness and depression. Pink, along with the color green, is linked with the Heart Chakra, which concerns love and higher consciousness. The Heart Chakra bridges the gap between the physical and spiritual worlds. Therefore, it is no surprise why just being out in the gardens is so therapeutic for the soul.

Nature offers us a wonderful selection of pink flowering plants. If you plan on bloom times you can enjoy the comfort of pink throughout the entire growing season. 

Bleeding Heart is a spring blooming perennial, a wonderful plant for a children's garden to encourage imaginary play.
The little blossoms look like dancing ballerinas.
For the romantic in us, they also symbolize a teardrop dripping from a broken heart.

The Carolina Rose is a shrubby bush which blooms pink in the spring followed by nutritious rose hips in the fall.

Cosmos is a sure to please, easy to grow, drought resistant summer annual. This plant sprawls and has a tendency to look messy since it can fall over, break off and still keep on going. Carefree and tough, as the blossoms go to seed they are easy to gather for next season but often reseed themselves.
Cleome or Spider Flower is a summer blooming annual. If given the room this drought resistant, interesting plant is beautiful as it sprawls. Seed pods burst open in late summer, making it easy to propagate and reseed itself.
BeeBalm or Monarda is a summer blooming perennial plant wonderful for attracting bees and other important pollinators.
Usually found amidst the herbs, this plant makes a soothing cup of tea.

Kiss Me Over The Garden Gate is an old-fashioned cottage garden plant. This easy to grow summer annual has tassel flowers that easily reseed themselves and pop up wherever they can. A tall plant, it is best if planted as a background, specimen flower to blend in a carefree manner.

Penstemons are an elegant border perennial summer bloomer. They look like little foxgloves.
Those who want to attract hummingbirds should include these little beauties.

Coneflowers or Echinacea are a drought tolerant, summer perennial wonderful for pollinators and birds alike.
The porcupine-like seed heads are an ideal winter bird feed.
Zinnias are a popular, showy annual flower loved by anyone wanting to attract butterflies.
Easy to grow and easy to save the seed to replant every year, zinnias come in an assortment of colors.
The Rose of Sharon is a beautiful summer blooming bush.
This variety in particular is a huge shrub and is the size of a small tree.

Joe Pye Weed is a native summer blooming perennial wonderful for the natural carefree cottage garden.
A must for someone wanting to attract beneficial insects.

Spirea is a popular landscaping foundation shrub. This variety is in the medium height range of about three feet and spreads about three to four feet wide. Insects love it and it is a showpiece a summer bloomer.

Sedums come in a variety of types. This one is a dark, magenta color. Sedums are important as a beneficial plant for fall insects after many of the summer blooming flowers have faded.

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice!