GARDENING: GOING FOR GOLD

Published November 21, 2021
Golden nasturtiums | Photos by the writer
Golden nasturtiums | Photos by the writer

Colour-themed gardens are having a resurgence in popularity these days and, if the trend attracts you, this is the time to start your planning for next year.

Gold in the garden is always worth the investment. There are so many different shades of yellow easily found in nurseries over the late winter and early spring periods that you can be spoilt for choice.

From pale, lemony yellow petunias to the rich gold tones of sunflowers, each shade of yellow, especially when planted en masse, can be used to bring a vibrant dazzle factor to your garden in the day. On a balmy summer night, light-coloured flowers drink up and reflect back the silveriness of the moon.

You don’t have to be Vincent Van Gogh to appreciate the indelible beauty of sunflowers because, with a little imagination, you can actually design an incredible seasonal garden around sunflowers alone. Gigantic sunflowers grouped against a house or boundary wall, fronted by clumps of medium-tall ones and edged by dwarf, multi-petalled sunflowers, make a long-lasting impression, bringing spontaneous smiles of joy to all those privileged enough to view the spectacle. These blooms exude a magnetism that pulls you right in and holds you in its floriferous embrace.

Golden orchids
Golden orchids

Yellow flowers make the garden smile as they bring light to the darkest of corners and laughter as they tumble earthwards from hanging baskets and pots. They brilliantly guide your feet along pathways edged with liberated swathes of yellow verbena or poached-egg plants buzzing with industrious honey bees and other insects, beneficial to the garden and environment.

From mellow yellow to vibrant gold, and from tall to small, yellow flowers come in many floral choices that can add cheer to your garden

Evening primroses, delicately wafting their after-dinner fragrance towards the approaching night, spin and sparkle from dusk through to dawn. Then they hand the baton over to dancing masses of brilliant coreopsis, which effortlessly flaunt their ballerina blooms for months on end.

Amaltas
Amaltas

A palette of blended yellows by the lily pond enhances its cooling effect while a vibrant golden splash in tree shade steals your attention. Vivacious golden nasturtiums glide in and out amongst the cabbages to keep predatory insects at bay.

It isn’t just humans who are cheered by yellow on a muggy, overcast day. Honey bees, butterflies and nectar-sipping birds, and sunbirds too find yellow irresistibly attractive, because they know that yellow offers both food and drink.

Go yellow through to gold, be brave, don’t be shy of your garden being an awe-inspiring source of shimmering bliss and delight. Be proud to be able to make a natural statement, one that is beneficial to all the lifeforms around.

Below are some suggestions for flowers, climbers/creepers, shrubs and trees bearing flowers in a wide range of yellows, right from lemon through to the deepest, most brilliant, gold imaginable. The species listed bloom at different times of the year, so please do your research and, if possible in your particular location, aim to have an ever glowing treasure trove of gold in your garden right throughout the year.

Annuals and bi-annuals: Sunflowers, calendulas, nasturtiums, antirrhinum, viola, pansy, coreopsis, limnanthes douglasii or poached egg flower, French marigolds, African marigolds, sanvitalia procumbens or creeping zinnia, zinnia, helichrysum, nemisia, gazania, alyssum, calceolaria, bartonia aurea, bidens, cotula barbata, leptosyne, mimulus, nicotiana, petunias and wallflowers, foxgloves, bedding dahlias, annual chrysanthemums, corn marigolds, hollyhocks, asters, linaria, verbena, begonia, calliopsis, salpigloss, dimorphotheca, matricaria and statice.

Perennials: Californian and Welsh poppies, yarrow, tansy, primula, dahlias, crocus, daffodils, narcissus, freesias, ranunculous, rudbeckia, gaillardia, chrysanthemums, coreopsis, aquilegia, evening primrose, iris, sedum varieties, daylily, gerbera, carnations and roses.

Climbers/ creepers: Bignonia venusta or golden shower, yellow jasmine, allamanda, banisteria laurifolia, bignonia chamberlayne, clematis, honeysuckle, roses, Banksian or Chinese roses and tristelletia australis or star fruit creeper.

Shrubs: Allamanda, yellow bottlebrush, cassia alata, cassia glauca or scrambled egg bush, cassia didymobotrya, crossandra infundibuliformis, galphineum glauca, hibiscus, hypericum, poinciana, shrub roses, yellow butterfly bush, poinciana, tecoma stans, brugmansia and thivetia nerifolia.

Trees: Cassia siamea, thespesia populnea or tulip tree, acacia auriculiformis, cassia fistula or amaltas, cassia multijuga, ochnaceae or ochna and peltophorum ferrugineum or yellow gold mohar.

Some species appear in more than one list as there may be, for example, both annual and perennial varieties of the said species, or shrub versions of a tree may also be available.

Please continue sending your gardening queries to zahrahnasir@hotmail.com. Remember to include your location. The writer does not respond directly by email. Emails with attachments will not be opened

Published in Dawn, EOS, November 21st, 2021

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