|The Rainbow Border, as seen from the end of the rainbow progression of colors. The effect can clearly be seen, which is encouraging, as that's what I've working toward.|
My Rainbow Border is in Year Three (I planted most of the perennials in 2012), and it's starting to look a bit more filled in this year. Most of the perennials bloom in May and June: tulips, irises, Asiatic lilies, peonies, alliums and the like, but from July on, the color is carried by annuals: mostly zinnias, petunias and marigolds.
But I've been thinking that I should add some tall garden phlox toward the back of the border. Phlox is long-blooming, blooms later in the summer and is available in a number of colors:
- White: the two White Sections of the border seem particularly sparse and could certainly benefit from an expansive perennial like phlox), and 'David' does well in other areas of my garden
- Pink: phlox comes in both dark and light pinks, and more purplish as well as more salmonish pinks
- Red: I'm not sure if the reds are crimson/purple reds, or more like scarlet/orange reds -- I would want to see the plants in bloom before I could know where in the Red Section to plant a flower
- Orange: but the orange might look more pinkish salmon in color and not fit in with my true oranges in the Orange Section
- Green-ish: I've seen a "Green Expectations" phlox that is white with green petal tips, which I might order next spring to give it a try
- Blue-ish: 'Blue Paradise' and 'Blue Boy' both look like they could be pretty close to blue in color, at least in photos online
- Purple: I have plenty of this in my gardens already that I could easily transplant
In fact, phlox seems to be available in pretty much any color but yellow (although there might be a yellowish annual phlox that is shorter in height). But there are plenty of other yellow-flowering perennials that I could plant instead in the Yellow Section.
Next spring (how I already love the sound of that phrase!), I will add some phlox to see if it helps the rainbow effect look more pronounced in late summer.
|Seen from the other end: white, pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and back to white again at the far end.|
Here are photos of each color section of the border:
|The first White Section could seriously use some white phlox about now. The ox-eye daisies have taken over and not allowed the white cosmos to fill in as I wanted, and sadly, not much else is going on here.|
|The Pink Section is a bit better, with roses, a mum, petunias and a single zinnia in bloom.|
|The Red Section could be worse, but I think I will try to move things around and add some plants next year to add some more color in this section.|
|The Yellow Section seems to do pretty well from late spring until fall. There are so many yellow-flowering plants that love full sun, that this section rarely wants for color.|
|The green zinnias and Bells of Ireland are going strong. I love green flowers!|
|The 'Victoria Blue' salvia is looking great in the Blue Section, with a few leftover delphiniums in back and bachelor buttons in front.|
|The Purple and ending White Section (with reblooming white iris). Some tall garden phlox certainly wouldn't go amiss in these sections. I'll definitely plant some here next spring.|
That's it for the Rainbow Border, which I will continue to work on improving each year. Thanks for reading my progress report! -Beth