helichrysum ‘hendrix’

My attitude towards orange and yellow is changing. Every year I mellow a little and let a bit more into the garden.

Steve is a big fan of rudbekia. I wasn’t keen at first, but they do suit the softer September and October light.

cottage garden, gardening blog

Rudbekia and verbena bonariensis pair well. The verbena’s gone haywire this year. More on that next time.

So, on balance, I can tolerate some late summer yellow. In fact, I’ll admit that I’ve started to rather like it. But I’ve flatly refused to allow any orange flowers. Until now.

This spring I bought  a packet of helichrysum hendrix seed from Higgledy Garden on a whim. We’d just extended our two main borders and I wanted some cheap and cheerful annuals to pad them out.

Benjamin from Higgledy has a wonderful knack of making all his flowers sound like must-haves. But I went for these because he said they last well into the autumn, and for the past couple of years we’ve been making efforts to keep the garden in-flower for longer. I thought they might help.

cottage garden, gardening blog

OK, it’s a bit unruly. But we’ve never had this much colour so late in the season before. 

And so they did. The flowers are quite papery and robust. I reckon they’ll last until the frosts, so we may get another month out of them yet.

Benjamin says helichrysum hendrix come in ‘an amazing array of colours’. He’s not wrong. We’ve had pinks, purples, whites, crimsons and combinations of those.

We’ve also had bright dandelion yellow.

cottage garden, gardening blog

Dandelion yellow. It’s growing on me.

And we’ve had orange. I’d love to call it copper. Or burnished gold. But it’s just orange, isn’t it.

cottage garden, gardening blog

Orange. In my garden. I never thought I’d see the day.

The surprising thing is, I like it. But if I start considering regimented rows of marigolds for the garden next spring, tell me to have a word with myself.

wordless wednesday: gaura lindheimeri

cottage garden, gardening blog