I am in a state of adoration about Yellow. I adore all of it, from Bird’s Custard yellow which hovers on egg yolk orange, right though to the most delicate cream, which hovers on white. I used to be like this about red, and whilst it remains a favourite, I have succumbed utterly to Yellow. I dream about it especially at this time of year, when there isn’t much about yet…daffodils and Ranunculus ‘Brazen Hussy’ are yet to open. Last year was my first with Ranunculus ‘Brazen Hussy’ and I liked it so much that, rather late in the spring season, I bought 3 more very tiny plants. I had given them up for dead until last week, when first two of them popped through, and then, this week, so did the third one. They are tougher than I thought.
There is something about yellow that spells warmth, coothiness, comfort, fun and excitement. Last year, I brought together some clumps of Anthemis ‘Hollandaise Sauce’ that I had scattered in various locations- and made a big drift of them, paired up with slightly later flowering upright white Liatris scariosa. They really did look good. It was fresh, invigorating and really cheered you up.
At the egg yolk end of yellow, is Coreopsis ‘Grandiflora’, which really is quite big, nearly a metre tall and a spreader, I reckon. It is a tad floppy, so needs staking to really keep those great big double flowers upright, but it flowers freely all summer whatever the weather, and though the more orangey tint to the yellow maybe makes it a bit of a harder sell with other colours, it’s worth it for it’s energy and flowerpower.
A very much more obliging and discreet yellow is another great plant, which I grew from seed but really only appreciated last year in it’s second year. It is an evergreen, tough as old boots perennial, Bupleurum fruticosum, and it is such a good plant for dry, poor soil spots with sun. It will take any amount of dryness and any amount of sun. With it’s slightly reddened stout stems, olive-green waxy leaves and very upright stance, it holds it’s own in the border, and provides really good structure and oomph at about a metre and a bit high. It needs no attention at all, and then, late in the summer, these delicate umbels in a calmer shade of yellow appear, which are a magnet for insects of all kinds. It isn’t flashy and it only does what it does, but it will take any punishment. Even wetter spots won’t put it off, as long as there is some dryness in the growing season. I am really looking forward to it’s obliging progress this year.
At the lemon end of yellow, is a plant that I bought about six years ago as a tiny at which point it was one of the Halimium clan. Renamed pretty much everywhere now as Cistus atriplicifolius, it is a sun and dry lover, enjoying the largely stoney conditions in the New Garden, and though it doesn’t bloom for long, and may not repeat flower, it is delightful in full throttle. Trouble-free, perfect for difficult hotspots, it requires nothing and just performs.
And it just goes to show, you can never have too much yellow. I love the height, well over 1.5m, and the delicate, quilled flowers of Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’. It is not a spreader, but just beautifully wafts above the reat of the border in summer breezes. It looks just great with an unknown perennial sunflower that escaped one of my purges earlier in the year. The warmth of these colours is toasting me, on a grey, cold and wet day in Tostat!