Pretty in Pink!

In a recent blog I discussed the convenience and beauty of having a cutting garden, somewhere I can go to relax and harvest beautiful blooms for any arrangements and bouquets I might want. Some of my most beloved blooms from these gardens have coincidentally been a favorite color of mine, pink! In my garden and in my clients’ gardens, the pink flowers tend to stand out the most. The ones I will talk about later in this blog are deer-resistant, an added bonus if you’re like me and you live in the North Georgia mountains. These flowers are my highest recommended plants for someone wanting to spruce up their garden with a few easy-to-maintain showstoppers.

From the genus Rhododendron of the Ericaceae family, rhododendrons are classic garden queens. Did you know? All azaleas are rhododendrons, but not all rhododendrons are azaleas.

Pink: Color Psychology

Let’s talk about pink. When you think of the color pink, you probably think of things that are associated with femininity: makeup, fashion, jewels, hearts, sweet treats like candy, desserts, berries, cute animals, and unmistakably, flowers. Flowers by themselves have always represented femininity due to their inherent connection to fertility and natural beauty. When flowers are pink, their associated femininity becomes twofold due to the color’s rich historic symbolism. According to Katie Smith, color expert and designer, pink can be “youthful, fun and exciting. Toning down the passion of red with the purity of white results in a light, tender color associated with romance, sweetness, and happiness.” It is even proven that pink is an effective mood stabilizer. Pink has been used in the holding cells of violent criminals and as a prank in the locker rooms of opposing sports teams to tone down aggression. The power of pink!

Here is a native eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis.) Its pink blooms cluster around the spreading branches and twigs to create a beautiful crown for spring.

Like any color, though, pink is complex and has more than one meaning. Similar to how a person’s femininity can represent different attitudes and manifestations, pink packs a powerful punch full of various color psychologies. Eva Heller states in Psychologie de la couleur – effets et symboliques, “A combination of pink and white is associated with chastity and innocence, whereas a combination of pink and black links to eroticism and seduction.” In recent times, pink has also come to represent breast cancer awareness, something that links a lot of women to each other and to their femininity.

The study of color psychology in flowers or rather “Flower Language” is a long rabbit hole to go down if you have the time. Apart from it being generally interesting, it’ll also help you in your understanding of flower arranging and planning your cutting garden. To learn more check out this website.

Tulips (Tulipa) come in many colors but the power of pink is undeniable!

There are countless species of pink flowering plants in the world. They come in all different shapes and sizes and are native to various parts of the globe. Did you know? Even the name for the color pink comes from a flower. “Pink” is a flowering perennial native to the Eastern hemisphere and cultivated as garden ornamentals, most suited to rock gardens.

“Pinks” also known as dianthus (Dianthus.)
Oxalis (Oxalis acetosella) of the family Oxalidaceae, is also known as the common wood sorrel.
Native east coast azaleas
snapdragon (Antirrhinum)

Deer Resistant

If you live in a remote area, you might have issues with growing flowering plants due to wildlife like deer browsing for a midnight snack. I try to ensure I have blooms ready for cutting at all times and deer can make that hard when they’re hungry (which is always.) The past few months I have been running an experiment to help me predict which plants deer will and will not eat. The truth is, deer have been known to eat almost anything, but there are some plants less palatable to them. For some reason, in my garden, many of my pink blooms have proven to be the most deer tolerant. Do deer just hate the color pink? Who knows. The following are some flowers that I have found to be deer resistant but here is a more comprehensive list of plants, flowers, and shrubs they won’t touch.

The saucer magnolia, otherwise known as the Chinese magnolia (Magnolia X soulangeana), has big, early-spring blossoms that are saucer shaped, hence the name.
I love peonies (genus Paeonia) because they are big and lush. They’re very reliable in that they come back every season and of course, they’re deer tolerant.
foxglove (Digitalis)
Here are some camellias (Camellia sinensis), one of my favorite blooms.
Phlox (Phlox paniculata) is a native American wildflower with a long flowering season.

If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, you may have seen our series “Beautiful Blooms” posted on Tuesdays. The blooms I share there are a mix of flowers found in my own garden, in my clients’ gardens, and some from the wild. All around, it has been a beautiful spring full of gorgeous, showstopping blooms and I have loved sharing them!

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