Friday, April 20, 2012

Puttin' on the Ritz

Puttin’ on the Ritz is exactly what chartreuse does to gardens.  The color chartreuse draws the eye, brightens a bed and it simply sparkles.

A whole yard of emerald green foliage can be boring even with multi colored flowers.  This is especially true if you have a large quantity of trees and bushes.  What to do?  Add chartreuse!

Every year new bushes are introduced with chartreuse foliage.  Some that I’ve found hardy, easy and beautiful:  

Coralberry “Taffa Silver Edge”:  A 3 ft. bush attractive to bees, birds and butterflies.  Takes average light, water & soil.

“Golden Mops” False cypress:  Low mounding evergreen with slow growth.

Juniper “Old Gold”:  A compact evergreen preferring full sun.

Privet “Gold”:  This 6 ft. shrub turns purple in the fall.  Full sun for best color.

The “Golden Weeping” Willow tree is stunning all year with golden winter stems, early spring gold buds and gold leaves in the fall.

There is chartreuse foliage on a huge array of perennials. 

Chartreuse Hosta can really add zing to a shady spot.  Some that work for me is “Emerald Tiara”, “Golden Sceptre” and the popular “Sun and Substance”.   I noticed a really pretty Coral Bell at a nursery this week.

When looking for annuals, consider the chartreuse sweet potato vine. This color can actually highlight bright summer flowers. There is an especially pretty chartreuse zinnia. When included in a vase of bright flowers, this zinnia ties them together nicely.

I find I need to see the plant to realize if it’s really chartreuse because most use the word gold. Gold is usually accurate when describing flower color but often a matter of opinion with foliage.

Some plant foliage will have chartreuse foliage only under certain conditions. Perhaps only in the sun or they must have certain soil nutrients. Others are only that color during specific seasons. Not a bad thing, just be aware so you  won’t be disappointed. 
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention chartreuse hardscapes.  A flower pot, seat cushion, bird bath, and more will flood the boring right out of a garden.  Right now the fabric world has embraced it in stripes (often chartreuse, white & blue), abstracts and floral.

Whether you love to watch the elegant Fred Astaire version or Gene Wilder’s Young Frankenstein version of “Puttin’ on the Ritz”, add some Ritz to your gardens with chartreuse!

Alright everybody, let’s bring this one home:

If you're blue and you don't know where to go to
Why don't you go where fashion sits,
Puttin' on the Ritz.”
From web of Fred Astaire in "Puttin' on the Ritz".

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