Seeing Red in the Tropical Fall Garden
I mean, just look at this emerging sleepy hibiscus bloom! Not only are hummingbirds drawn to them, but so are painted buntings, and they're pretty colorful themselves! I just have to add that none of these photos were altered, and they really are this vivid and bright.
How can you go wrong with flowers as saturated as this bottlebrush? Well, besides the obvious appeal of red flowers, there are plenty of other reasons I mostly use this color.
In a rainforest, any plant that plans on getting noticed by pollinators had better stand out against the overwhelmingly green backdrop of the jungle. While lots of colors get the job done, red must do really well if the amount of red flowers in the tropics is any indication!
Another thing about a real rainforest is that it really is mostly green, and not at all like what we would see in a garden. Instead of massed 'paint by number' planting schemes, I think its more dramatic to let a bold and unique flower stand out against the lush greenness as an exclamation point. I don't have a huge variety of flowers, but I feel that the ones I do have pack a punch.
I also want to note that while red is the predominant color right now in my garden, in early spring you would find the cotton candy pink of azaleas in the front yard and the crisp yellow of a tabebuia in the backyard, with no red to be found! I think its important to plan your color schemes by season, remembering that different plants flower at different times of the year. I especially like red for the summer, since the blaring mid day sunlight seems to wash out all the other colors.
Of course, its always fun to mix it up a bit with a complimentary orange hue here and there too! I even use the purple of tibouchina at the edge of the garden so the cooler color recedes.
So what are your favorite colors in the garden?