Thursday, May 22, 2008


Every few years garden trends change. One trend that has been a recent favorite is using the color chartreuse. I think I saw the trend start about 10 years ago maybe. I liked it then, and still like it. Chartreuse, unlike magenta is a color I can easily work with.

The above picture is of one of my foundation beds. I like the layered effect and the smooth flow of the plants. Can you see the chartreuse of the 'Firepower' nandina snaking its way through this bed? It is backed by Microphylla euonymous which sets off the colors of the nandina. This post is about the chartreuse though, and not the foundation beds so I will stick to the nandinas. I don't know why, but people tend to either hate or love nandinas. I like them. They are invaluable in the garden. Sure, you see them planted in commercial situations quite a bit, but there is a reason for that. They are low care, evergreen, provide year round interest and readily available for reasonable prices. What is wrong with those attributes? I really like the chartreuse in the spring and the fact these little nandinas stay compact and give good structure to the garden bed no matter the season.

When you look at the above picture of my 'Crabapple Garden' your eye is immediately drawn to the 'Goldmound' spirea. I love it. The greens are all supporting players. The spirea in this location draws attention to the bird bath without clashing with any of its neighbors. Always a good thing.

Here is a close up of the spirea foliage. I love the spireas. They are so easy to grow and so varied in their colors and textures. As a bonus, they give the gardeners flowers off and on all season long. I grow a few spireas and among them are: Van Houtteii spirea, Goldmound, Goldflame, Red Spirea, and Little Princess. I have frequently moved some spireas and find they adapt well. One shrub I moved wound up in three pieces. I didn't know you could divide spireas but this is exactly what happened. What a bonus!

This privet was a sale purchase last summer. It is 'Golden Vicary' privet. It is adaptable so far and has nice new foliage. The more sun it gets, the more brighter the chartreuse. It will be a stand out soon.

This variegated iris is a winner all the way around. I have also moved it several times and despite my abuse of it, it comes back faithfully every year. This year it has gifted me with two lilac purple blooms. I don't think irises should be grown just for the blooms, but they are sure nice bonuses. This iris is a standout and easy to grow. It is a keeper and I think I may have finally found it a home it and I can live with.

I believe the above cultivar of hosta is 'American Dream'. It is a dream in that it is a uniform colored chartreuse hosta. It lights up a shady garden nicely.

The above heuchera is aptly named 'Key Lime Pie'. The color just kind of makes you want to take a bite doesn't it? It is another brightly colored chartreuse plant in the garden.

Chartreuse in the garden is a show off. It definitely stands out, and stands out proudly. My garden being fairly shady (Yahoo!) needs a bit of the sun and brightness. Maybe that is why I am drawn to chartreuse so much, but I love it. Do you like this trend too?

in the garden....


  1. We call that color "Day Glow" because it seems to glow during the day time....

    Cleaning Day for me!
    Have a good day one and all...

  2. It's not that I hate nandina, it's just that I think it has been overplanted. Our nandina gave us five seedlings in the same bed. I like the hosta and the variegated iris. I mulched up our front bed last night and intentionally layered our spirea. I could use another one of them. I think I got rid of the aphid problems.

  3. Oh yes, I love chartreuse foliage! I have a variegated iris just like the one you pictured and it really lights up its little corner of the front garden. Most of the foliage I'm dealing with tends toward the silvery side because I'm using drought tolerant plants. I would love to find some *chartreuse* drought tolerant plants though.

  4. Good morning all!
    Skeeter, Day glow is sometimes good, just not the magenta for me. Still coming Sunday? Guess I need to clean too! I'll do my best.

    Dave, Many people feel the same as you with nandina. These 'Firepower' do not set fruit, so no seeding. The tall ones do and I do have babies under them. I think I'll try bonsaiing them sometime. Did you know you could split spirea? I never knew it and was THRILLED! Glad the aphids are gone.

    Amy, Hi there and thanks for faving me! I tried to message you via Blotanical but I am not good with it at all. I finally gave up. I read you are very dry in the summer so for sure drought tolerant. I am thinking some sedums might be chartreuse? Maybe even the heuchera would work if you have some shade. Don't you love that iris? It is so easy to grow and can light up an area for sure. Do you grow Artemesia 'Powis Castle'? It is silvery and very drought tolerant. One of my very favorites. It would work for you but I am still thinking of some chartreuse for you too.

  5. It is a very pretty color and adds a lot to a garden, I think. Hope all has a great day.

  6. Thanks for the tip about planting my eggplant later in the season. Maybe next year I can wait a month more and see if that helps. Haven't looked up what a flea beatle looks like yet, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was because, come to think of it, they look a lot like fleas!

  7. Hi Mom, Hope your day is going great. Ours is, just not enough time to get everything done! But you know how it is.

    Well Read Gardener, You are welcomed! I hope it helps. It is so hard to wait though-isn't it?

  8. Tina, I too enjoy bright colors like chartreuse and magenta over pastels any day. Even the words themselves are fun. It's interesting to hear you talking about gardening like a painter mixing a palette. It just takes more time for nature to blend its colors. Go for those bright colors!

  9. Tina,

    I don't care for Nandina, it is too exotic looking for my garden. But I do like chartreuse plants and have planted some darling Heuchera....not Key Lime but Citronelle which looks quite nice with burgundy. Citronelle's parentage is H villosa a southern heuchera.


  10. Hi Sarah, Bright colors are my preference for sure! Maybe northerners need the brightness? Because of winter being so long? The English too? Just a theory. My mother says lilacs are coming into bloom in Maine. Should be a great spring.

    Gail, Nandinas are like yuccas, you either love them or hate them. I love both but understand not everyone has a fondness for them. One of my horticulture teachers HATED them. She and I never seemed to see eye to eye. :0 Maybe that us why I got a B? The first one in years!

    Mom, Keep forgetting to tell you, I have not heard from Nina but will check soon.

  11. Hi Tina, yes ma'am I do love that chartreuse color in the garden, or any gold foliage plant, especially magic carpet spirea and sambucus Aurea, the golden elderberry. We have nandinas, back under the large pine trees. They used to be in the garden, but were making too many seedlings, and just weren't giving the look I was after. I couldn't throw them out so planted them in the worst spot in the yard, of course they are doing great there. I have citronelle heuchera also, good plant.

  12. Great post Tina. I love the chartreuse color. It looks so bright & perky. Maybe that is what I need to put in the East Hosta/Heuchera bed. I planted some Caladium bulbs in different spots in that bed & none of them have showed their pretty heads. Would like to dig up & see what is going on but don't want to disturb if they are in process of doing their thing. Also planted some Fern but nothing.
    Young'un cut some of the dead Azalea out after he came in but was tired so will have to try & finish tomorrow. Had thought about having my younger son use chain saw & just cut all down to about 12" & let it start all over but it would take yrs. for it to be of any size. It's been here about as long as the house. Maybe early eighties. Just guessing. Low hanging branches have rooted & making more plants. Not good. Will see.

  13. Hi Tina --I love the variety of colors in most gardens. And, my hostas look like they are about to get flowers? I am so "green" in that area --can they get flowers? I have at least 3 or 4 different hostas in my yard --they are massive. You should come and grab some --I would never miss them --there is so much and they FILL the flower beds up by the house.

    Today --last day of school so Sidekick and I clipped off all the iris that were done --just left the pretty green leaves standing. We did the same with the tulips in the yard --cut them down to the ground. But, I have a question......two of my tulips had these huge green things on top --kind of hard --is that some sort of seed??
    Speaking of seeds my lilac bush is filled with a ton of seeds. I plucked them off and now wonder how long until I can plant them? Do I dry them out? Wait --please help as I have no idea --thanks so much:)
    Kiddos went swimming today --water was great since the daddy has been heating it up for us:) I am so happy that school is out for the summer --yeah!!!
    I need to check on the older two --youner ones are in bed but it is summer vacation so the big ones can stay up later:) Ciao!

  14. Hey all, After the talk about blowing the dandelions there is a pic in yesterdays's (I am always a day or 2 behind) paper (Portland Press) of the cutest 3 year old boy all dressed up in a suit (he had just been to a renewal of wedding vows of grandparents). He is standing on the lawn of a chapel surrounded by dandelions and is blowing on one. It is not an AP pic but by a local guy but hope some of you guys got it as it is so darn cute. I wonder if someone has told him to make a wish!!!!

    Been quiet in here today. Anonymous must be busy with the kids. I hope Dawn's father-in-law is okay. Maybe he got sprung and they are over there.

    Have a good night all.

  15. Whoops....there is Anonymous!!!

  16. Hi Jean --right you are --last day for the kiddos. Had to get them out swimming --watched a movie --had some pizza --all the fun things to kick off summer vacation. But, I managed to get in the yard to trim and clip:) That picture sounds absolutely adorable --have a great night and smell those lilacs for me:0) I love them --one of the best flowers --

  17. We did visit my father in law today, he is much better but just starting puree tom., maybe home on Sunday. Urrrrr. m-in-l doing more for herself, thank god although I still worry.
    Most of the color in my garden in blue, I do have a charteruse in a furry little plant but I don't know what it is, everyone seems to have it and it blooms with the plox, got it upstreet. Nite all, took my crafts out tonight, Nikki wants to keep everything,....get over that quick! Selling is the idea!

  18. anonymous, you guys are lucky to have school out this early, we have more than a month left. Can't wait, the pressure is off!

  19. anonymous, you guys are lucky to have school out this early, we have more than a month left. Can't wait, the pressure is off!

  20. Whoops, must get a faster 'puter.

  21. Long day running errands, visiting with neighbors that just popped in and cleaning house. Wow, my cats are messy little girls...

    I watered everything in the entire yard really well as we are not getting the rainfall we need. Going all around us. Saw mobile set ups for Hail damage from All State and some other company. Those areas had 1 inch of rain and us only a little measly 1/10 inch. Argggg, but rather have the no rain then hail damage on my new car or the truck. I need that truck for pine straw and dirt! LOL...

    I also redid the caulk on the bathtub now she looks all pretty again and ready for company...

    Saint took me out for dinner and it was so relaxing to know all my work is completed… Just dusting tomorrow and some ironing then finished and ready to visit with family and friends….

    Yeah, summer vacation for the kids and Adults too.... Watch out for lizards Sidekick!

    Good night all….

  22. Frances, That beautiful elderberrry makes me want one too. It is gorgeous!

    Lola, I don't think the caladiums would mind you disturbing them to see if they are still there. Out of the 25 bulbs I tried to start, only three popped up. urrr! I don't think I would cut back my azalea so severely. Do a soil test first.

    Anonymous, I am so surprised at how much you do in the garden and how much you enjoy it! Good you cut of the scapes from the irises. The tulips have seed pods on them. I too have a few I let go to seed. Usually I deadhead but I thought they'd be interesting. Who knows, maybe they'll seed some more if left in place. I have no idea how to collect them and start them inside but I imagine it would not be too hard. Not sure about starting seeds of the lilac either. Usually with lilacs you can divide the suckers on it. Most lilacs sucker easily. Just cut in your shovel where there is a stem away from the mother plant and take out a whole new plant. Beats starting from seed anyday. I'll try to come by Monday and take a look. Since kiddos are home I can say hi to all-is that ok?

    Mom, Seems to be quiet in most of blogland recently. I suppose we are all outside working. Not sure. Blogs go in cycles for some crazy reason. UP an down. The little boy probably wished for happily ever after for his grandparents (I hope)

    Dawn, Sounds like father in law is doing well. Good! Best wishes for a speedy recovery. What type of furry chartreuse plant DO you have. I am intriqued. Yup, time to sell some crafts and make some money. You have so much! What a busy lady. Skeeter used to sell crafts and made tons of money. I'd like to sell some plants and make some money someday. Who knows.

    Skeeter, I think it a shame the rain has not come your way. It is actually kind of dry here too. I hope watering season is not upon us. All those pine needles will surely help your plants. You are one busy lady and I am glad you are nearly done with your chore list.

  23. Tina, I'll mail a pic of it to you, maybe you can tell me what it is. It grows in poor soil and even gravel but seems to need alot of sun. Pretty with the plox, just abit taller.