“Summertime and the living is easy” indeed. At this time of year, we start to move out onto our patios to enjoy the great outdoors.
Our minds turn to hosting barbecues for friends and family, with great tasting food. Maybe you are grilling some salmon with lemon juice or enjoying a tasty salad topped off with some lime.
Even our drinks are enhanced with lime. Using lime will add a brightness to a dish, bringing out the colours and flavours.
I was reminded this week, as I was putting together a number of annual pots, that adding lime or lemon-coloured plants to our containers and our floral beds can also enhance our gardens.
They can brighten and lighten a dark, shady area. Adding plants with lemony yellow foliage will also bring out the other colours in the garden.
The pink, purple, orange, or red coloured flowers will appear to be more vibrant. This is especially true in the summer garden. It is so refreshing to walk into a garden that has lime-coloured accents.
Here are some of my favourite yellow/lime-coloured plants that can tolerate a part-shade location:
* Golden Sunburst Yew (Taxus x media ‘Sunburst’) – This vase-shaped evergreen has new growth that emerges as a soft yellow colour. It can tolerate from full sun to shade. It can grow to be seven feet high by 10 feet wide, but takes pruning very well.
* All Gold Hakonechloa Grass/Golden Variegated Hakonechloa – One of the few grasses that grows well in a part-shade location. This low mounding grass, growing about 18 x 24 inches high and wide, will brighten up any shady spot.
* Gold Leaf Hostas – There are many varieties of hostas with pure yellow leaves or gold and green variegated leaves. Choose one that fits the size needed for your space.
*Lime Coralbells (Heuchera) – Although some coralbells can tolerate sun, I find that the lime-leaf varieties do best in a filtered light. One notable variety is “Lime Marmalade.”
Some sun-loving yellow/lime-coloured plants:
* Mops Threadleaf False Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera filifera ‘Mops’) –
* Lime Glow Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis ‘Lime Glow’) – A low-spreading evergreen with golden yellow foliage.
* Golden Spirit Smoke Bush (Cotinus coggygria ‘Golden Spirit’) – A larger growing shrub reaching about 10 feet high and eight feet wide. Great in a mixed-shrub border.
* Chardonnay Pearls Deutzia (Deutzia gracilis ‘Chardonnay Pearl’) – This newer variety of deutzia sports yellow leaves with clusters of small white flowers late May to early June. Grows three feet by three feet.
* Sunshine Blue Bluebeard (Caryopteris incana ‘Sunshine Blue’) – A stunning late-summer bloomer. The bright yellow leaves paired with the purple/blue clusters of flowers put on a real show. Grows three to four feet high and wide.
* Sunsation Barberry (Berberis thunbergia ‘’) – This lemony yellow deciduous shrub will bring any garden to life. It grows slowly to three to four feet high and wide.
* Angelina Sedum (Sedum rupestra ‘Angelina’) – A low-growing groundcover type Sedum ideal for hot, dry locations.
* Variegated Iris (Iris pallida ‘Aureo Variegata’) – This perennial provides you with the traditional purple flowers, but also gives you with showy yellow and blue/green striped leaves for the remainder of the season.
These are just a few of plants that provide you with yellow-lime foliage. Next time you are adding a new plant to your garden, think about adding a twist of lime.
Joanne Young is a Niagara-on-the-Lake garden expert and coach. See her website at joanneyoung.ca.