I sought to copy the beautiful Red Bed Garden of a precious gardener in a zone 5 Garden. Common sense would tell me that I can't grow exactly what she grows but I thought I could substitute more appropriate plants for my climate in RED. I'm still working on this bed, but the name changed to the Fiesta Bed.
If my goal was a glorious Red Bed during just one season of the year, I could have pulled it off. The intention here is a long season of continuous bloom and as much fragrance as possible.
Let me further describe her methods. She anchored the bed with shrubs with purple foliage. She used reds in shades that lean toward crimson, few scarlets. Orange-reds were replaced. She used annuals like castor bean that require most of her short summer to come to full size. In the spring there were tulips, all red.
Right off, I had problems. The best purple foliage plants that I have readily available are Loropetalums. The blooms are pink, bright honking magenta pink but not RED. Tulips here are not perennial. They require much chilling and preparation and then voles eat them. Daffodils are easy. Daffodils do not come in RED. I moved some small red daylilies into my hot, sunny Red Bed. They were happier when they were in shade for part of the day down by the birdbath.
Scarlet blooms of Sammy Russell daylilies.
Other daylilies indicated they'd rather have a cooler spot in high shade as well.
Superlative or Kent's Favorite II. I forget which is which.
Janie sent me a Red Cascade rose. It grew. And grew. I had to build it a cedar limb corral to keep it off its companions. It blooms a lot, too. Red Knockout roses planted nearby are in awe.
Fibrous rooted begonias with dark foliage are supposed to withstand sun. Not here. They begged to go live under the Magnolia tree, please.
Here is Mini-Red Bed with those begonias that were not happy in all day sun, some Brazilian ruellia and some purple companions. Red daylilies bloom nearby.
While I was hoping to get red flowering plants going, I needed a place for Esperanza I grew from seed. Esperanza loves sun, withstands drought, perfect for the spot except that it is Bright Yellow. Stunning, that Tecoma Stans.
Janie sent me seeds of Pride of Barbados. Now there's a blossoms with some red -- some yellow, too. At a distance it is orange. I love it. I have two good plants and have planted out some seedlings this spring. Butterflies love it. I planted zinnias seeds yesterday -- mixed.
Now that I've realized that the Red Bed was in the wrong location, it is sucessfully growing toward total Fiesta. Purple Datura will assure Fiesta along with the seedling yellow Candlesticks I planted and some Purple Alternanthera. Meanwhile butterflies are entertained in the Fiesta Bed by dark red Asiatic lilies and pink Silene while we await high summer blossoms. Oh, there's RED Alternanthera, too from cuttings saved over the winter.
Gaudy, bright colors work well in the bright sunlight of my zone 8b garden. I've accepted that the muted reds of zone 5b were just not going to work here.
What's in Your Red Bed?