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Punch Up Your Landscape with a Taste of Orange
Orange is one of autumn’s most prolific colors. Even in Wyoming (where the landscape is snowy white or prairie brown much of the year), the precious few weeks of fall witness an explosion of red, yellow…and orange.
But orange is also a great color for your flower garden, as well. Known as the color of joy and creativity, orange can spice up a lackluster space. This vibrant color is popular with both spring and fall blooms, and is sure to bring a smile to your face all season long.
High Risk and High Reward
Orange is one of those high-risk/high-reward colors. If you tend to design your garden with more muted shades, it can take some courage to inject a bit of this hue into the landscape. But orange can also make everything around it look much more brilliant.
If you’re brave enough, go ahead and plant an entire orange border or container. If you’re a bit more timid, try slipping just a few pumpkin-colored blooms into your flower beds. Either way, you’ll notice how orange brings sheer happiness to a garden.
So if your landscape doesn’t already include orange flowers, challenge yourself to try something new. Here are a few suggestions:
Large red-orange petals surround a brown central cone on these fragrant flowers. Thick stems provide a sturdy structure and make them ideal for cut flower arrangements. This herbaceous perennial is an easy, adaptable and reliable performer. It’s perfect for dressing up sunny borders, meadow gardens, and container plantings.
This hardy, free-flowering, and well-behaved plant needs little attention. Its clusters of attractive red buds open to bright orange flowers throughout the summer. Butterfly weed is appropriately named, as the nectar- and pollen-rich flowers attract hummingbirds and hordes of butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects throughout the blooming season. It’s also tolerant of poor, sandy and unimproved soils; perfect for naturalized areas.
Oranges & Lemons Blanket Flower
This sun-loving plant produces a prolific display of bright flowers throughout the season. The large, tangerine orange and lemon yellow blooms provide a striking contrast to the blue-green foliage all summer long. This herbaceous perennial is also heat tolerant–perfect for xeriscapes.
Can Can and Mardi Gras Sneezeweed
Both of these species of Helenium offer brightly patterned late-season flowers. Their dark brown centers are surrounded by a colorful array of gold, copper and orange daisy-like petals. They’re perfect for a mixed perennial border or cutting garden.
For a great perennial vine in a sunny location, try a Goldflame Honeysuckle. Hummingbirds love the fragrant trumpet-shaped orange/gold flowers that open in early summer. This lovely vine provides a great cover for a trellis, arbor or fencing. Or it can be pruned to form a dense shrub. This honeysuckle is deciduous in colder areas.
Golden Ruby Barberry
This handsome, compact deciduous shrub has colorful coral-orange foliage that lasts into autumn. It then turns a brilliant mix of bright orange to brick red, accented with gold margins. Makes a high-impact accent plant. This barberry is very low-maintenance and slow growing; it may never need pruning. Best of all, it’s vigorous and hardy into Zone 3 with winter protection.
For a profusion of color all season long, you can’t beat annuals. Here are some of the brightest orange flowers out there:
These showy orange bowl-shaped flowers will attract both birds and butterflies right up to mid-fall. Plant in full sun with well-drained soil, and remove faded blooms to prolong flowering. Mature plants can reach heights of up to 7 feet.
If you live in the lower elevations of the state, try your hand at Zinnias. These members of the aster family offer a bright, showy orange variety. They’re very easy to grow, require little maintenance, and attract scores of butterflies. Plant heights range from 6 inches to several feet tall. They prefer well-drained, fertile soil and should be grown in full sun.
The flowers of this trailing Lantana open a golden yellow and deepen to a rich orange, from summer to fall. It needs very little water and can grow well in containers. Although it serves as a ground-covering perennial in warmer climates, this Lantana is an eye-catching annual in Zone 4 Wyoming. The nectar-rich flowers attract a myriad of pollinators, especially butterflies and bees. For the best flowering, it needs a sunny location.
Sundaze Blaze Strawflower
This striking annual features bold tomato-orange daisy flowers with gold overtones which bloom from mid-spring to late fall. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its narrow leaves remain dark green in color throughout the season. This plant does best in full sun to partial shade, and prefers dry, very well-drained soil. It’s drought-tolerant and makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It’s also not particular as to soil type or pH. Added bonus: It’s also deer resistant.
This plant is not actually a marigold; it belongs to the aster family (as you can see by its daisy-like flowers). Also known as Calendula, these cheery orange-yellow flowers will bloom throughout the growing season, in full sun to partial shade. They will also repeat bloom throughout the summer if you keep them deadheaded. Also, feel free to cut the blooms, as that will encourage more budding.
The following clip provides more stunning images of blooms that gladly display this happy color: