Annuals forum: Blending or contrasting colors for planting of annuals

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Name: Don
Meadville, PA - Crawford Co. - (Zone 5a)
Love of gardening grows on you!
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DonfromPA
Mar 5, 2016 7:00 AM CST
Sometimes I like to plant together 3 or more annuals with blending pastel colors.

For pastel blending: One of my favorites is pink wax begonias, ageratum and dusty miller. Also like lavender, pale yellow and apricot blends.

I also like bright contrast - yellow, red and orange - a number of annuals fit into this category.

What about the rest of you gardeners? What do you like?
The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies - Gertrude Jekyll
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Mar 5, 2016 9:14 AM CST
My favorite color scheme is monochromatic. For example, a drift of white flowers, among a drift of yellow flowers, among a drift of pink flowers, and so on. The same color in each drift seems to "hold the drift together".

I am a zinnia hobbyist, so I have every color at my disposal except blue. But I am also an amateur zinnia breeder, so I mainly grow my zinnias in rectangular beds, each bed of which has the same breeder zinnia parent, or the same type of breeder parent. So I don't have the luxury of doing much of my creative landscaping at the present time.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Mike
Long Beach, Ca.
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Roses Region: California Hummingbirder Farmer
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Calsurf73
Mar 5, 2016 10:45 AM CST
I'm a huge fan of the pink wax begonias, ageratum and dusty miller combination, too. Do you do the pink wax begonias with the green foliage or the bronze ? I tend to like the bronze ones just for the color contrast, but either one works fine for me.

And yes, blending colors of the same annuals is another preference, whether they're pastels or hot colors.

I used to do the color blending thing with annuals a lot...until I got carried away with roses and daylilies. Then I had this "conflict of interest" thing going on depending on the season and what was blooming at the same time and finding annuals to compliment all of that started to make me nuts ! lol

Red, yellow, and orange zinnias in summer is still my all time favorite. I tend to gravitate toward bold colors.
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Mar 5, 2016 11:26 AM CST
Calsurf73 said:Red, yellow, and orange zinnias in summer is still my all time favorite. I tend to gravitate toward bold colors.
Hi CalSurf, Welcome!
Then maybe combining those colors in the same zinnia might be to your liking.

This is another zinnia that has two colors on each petal.
Thumb of 2016-03-05/ZenMan/818426
And this is another example with three colors.
Thumb of 2016-03-05/ZenMan/c71484
Those are some of my results from crossing Whirligig zinnias with larger cactus flowered zinnias. As with all ATP pictures, you can click on those pictures to see them larger, and hit your F11 key to see them full screen. Hit F11 again to restore your Browser headings and close the picture by clicking on the X at the lower right-hand corner of the picture. (Sometimes you have to scroll to find the X.) Closing the picture lets you can come back here. You can also use the Back Arrow on your Browser as an alternate way back.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
[Last edited by ZenMan - Mar 5, 2016 11:39 AM (+)]
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Name: Don
Meadville, PA - Crawford Co. - (Zone 5a)
Love of gardening grows on you!
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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DonfromPA
Mar 5, 2016 1:52 PM CST
Mike and ZenMan - Thanks for your comments. As to wax begonias I prefer the bronze-leaved ones primarily due to contrast in color and secondly they seem to do a lot better in full sun for me than the green leafed.

I usually go for the bright colors, as a general rule. I have not grown any zinnias for a couple of years, but have decided that 2016 will be time to come back to them. I have been looking at several on-line as well as mailed catalogs and so far Swallowtail's Zahara Double Salmon Rose one really caught my eye and I can't resist it. Second on my list is their Art Deco - shades of pink, lavender, red and royal blue. Going to order both of them.

ZenMan - I really admire you guys and gals who have the know-how in creating something new and different. Please show some of your results as often as you can..

Do you usually use the Annual forum or one of the others - don't want to miss any of your photos. Although a member of ATP for a couple of years, I'm only now beginning to get off my rear and starting to look around the forums and other features of AllThingsPlants.Yes, I liked the sample shown. I too like red, yellow and orange - my favorite combination of colors.
Have belonged (short-time only) to a few other gardening forums, but lost my interest after a very short time. On ATP I find all the members to be very friendly and generous. So I plan to be around for quite a while
Don
The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies - Gertrude Jekyll
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 5, 2016 2:10 PM CST
I like purple and yellow or purple and orange together.
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Mar 5, 2016 10:44 PM CST
DonfromPA said:Do you usually use the Annual forum or one of the others - don't want to miss any of your photos. Although a member of ATP for a couple of years, I'm only now beginning to get off my rear and starting to look around the forums and other features of AllThingsPlants...
Have belonged (short-time only) to a few other gardening forums, but lost my interest after a very short time. On ATP I find all the members to be very friendly and generous. So I plan to be around for quite a while.
Hi Don, Welcome!
I think almost all my zinnia breeding posts in ATP have been in this Annuals forum. I am also active in the Annuals forum on GardenWeb (now incorporated into Houzz) and from time to time in Dave's Garden. DG is going through a hectic time now, with untested changes in the forum proving to be buggy, and some people have left or are leaving the forum because of that.

I have had a very long series of zinnia breeding message threads in the Annuals forum of GardenWeb. GardenWeb has a Hybridizer's forum, but it has very little traffic. DG has a Hybridizer's forum with slightly more traffic.

In the past, the vast majority of amateur zinnia breeding activity has been on GardenWeb, but I hope to help build up a presence here on ATP as well. Since Zinnias are an annual, the Annual forum seems as good a place as any to discuss amateur zinnia breeding here.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Mike
Long Beach, Ca.
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Roses Region: California Hummingbirder Farmer
Daylilies Cat Lover Bulbs Butterflies Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
Calsurf73
Mar 5, 2016 11:17 PM CST
Don: This is a very good thread you started and I will now spend more time in this particular forum. I mainly follow the Rose forum and the Pacific Coast forum while "lurking" on other ones but rarely posting...mainly because I'd be on the computer at ATP all day and all night ! LOL
Another good annual to plant in varying pastel shades is Agrostemma githago...aka Corn Cockle. The seeds are easy to collect and they germinate well and FAST.

ZenMan: I've followed your threads here and always find them very interesting and informative. I've never tried cross breeding anything before...but I might start, thanks to your inspiring posts. Thumbs up

Last year for the first time I planted the annual Linaria. It did great and has now reseeded plentifully, so along with Lobelia I now have another source of freebies.
Common Larkspur reseeds very well here and many times the volunteers are really interesting colors with splotches of white mixed in...unlike the standard colors you get when buying the 6 packs.

Last summer I became obsessed with the green zinnias and planted a slew of them. I was horribly disappointed in them but that was probably because we had horrific heat and humidity for months and they were just sort of a blah beige color.
I'll try them again this year.

Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Annuals Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Foliage Fan
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kniphofia
Mar 6, 2016 1:58 AM CST
I like the hot colours too, and love orange and fuchsia pink together.
Name: Don
Meadville, PA - Crawford Co. - (Zone 5a)
Love of gardening grows on you!
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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DonfromPA
Mar 6, 2016 7:53 AM CST
Our gardening now is centered around our large patio. At one end is a bed of red Knock-Out roses which are in bloom nearly all spring, summer and fall (a week or so resting now and then). My wife always insists on two large containers of red petunias.

The far end of our patio is covered with lattice. Last year we planted Purple Hyacinth vine. While it was adequate the blooms were not large enough to suit me. I wanted something more noticeable and colorful. So decided to go back to morning glories. My experience to date with MG has been exclusively Heavenly Blue but have had several alternate suggestions from ATP members, one of which is sending me seeds in the next couple of days. Not sure yet what color they will be - she's going to send me pictures. Then we have a shepherd's hook fixture with two hanging pots - last year we had yellow and orange fibrous begonias (Mother's Day present from our oldest granddaughter) and a mixture of annuals (orange/yellow/apricot) in the other pot.

This year we're adding zinnias (probably in containers) as we spend all our time around our patio - ordering two
packages of seeds from Swallowtail - colors mentioned in a previous posting.

Trying to find room for a pot of portulaca - probably a double red or pink one.

Lastly we have a large container for a tomato plant. Also adding one for sweet peppers and another member is sending me seeds of ornamental peppers.

Doesn't sound like much, but this will pretty well fill up our gardening space. Getting too old to create new space by digging up the lawn.

Let me know what you're planting this year. Unfortunately we no longer have any perennials which were always the backbone in previous gardens.
The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies - Gertrude Jekyll
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Mar 6, 2016 1:09 PM CST
Calsurf73 said:Last summer I became obsessed with the green zinnias and planted a slew of them. I was horribly disappointed in them but that was probably because we had horrific heat and humidity for months and they were just sort of a blah beige color.
I'll try them again this year.
Hi Mike, Welcome!
A few years ago I grew some of the "original" green zinnias, the variety called Envy (green with envy) and they grew well enough, but they were too green for my taste. The blooms were nearly as green as their foliage. I suspect their green color is just plain chlorophyll, and the blooms may actually be helping the plant along by doing some photosynthesis.

In recent years I did grow a green zinnia from Burpee called Tequila Lime that I liked better.

http://www.burpee.com/flowers/zinnias/zinnia-tequila-lime-pr...

It looks like it is a green that was crossed with a white zinnia. Unlike Envy, it has a noticeably white center, and is a lighter more delicate shade of green. This is a picture of one of my indoor Tequila Lime specimens.

In my opinion, the contrasting white center really "makes" that zinnia. Benary's Giants have a green version, but it does not appeal to me either, and some of the apparent crosses between green and other colors don't look at all appealing to me. Although, I think it might be interesting to cross Tequila Lime with some of my fluffier white zinnias, like this one.

Also, I think it might look "neat" to have a two-color combination of light green and white on the same petal. And light green might cross nicely with light yellow, to give a pale yellow green petal color.

There are a lot of potentially interesting crosses that you could make with green zinnias, but be prepared for some results that you might not like. But, as they say, "nothing ventured, nothing gained", and some of the green-cross results might turn out great.

I do encourage you to experiment with crossing zinnias. It is very easy to do, and takes only a few minutes to do enough cross pollination to produce hundreds of your very own home hybridized zinnia seeds. Which is way cheaper than buying them, and much more interesting as well.

Depending on your growing season, if you get an early start, you might get some viable "green" seeds soon enough to start a second generation of zinnias that you could see bloom, cross pollinate, and save seeds from the very same year. The green seed technique has nothing to do with the flower color -- it refers to saving zinnia seeds much earlier than is done usually.
Thumb of 2016-03-06/ZenMan/471c96
The petal may still have full coloration, but the embryo has developed fully and is capable of germination. It is key to an early start of a second generation of zinnias the same year. It can be nice not to have to wait a year to see the results of your cross. And very interesting to make crosses between your crosses the same year.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.


Name: Don
Meadville, PA - Crawford Co. - (Zone 5a)
Love of gardening grows on you!
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Image
DonfromPA
Mar 6, 2016 2:43 PM CST
ZM - Excuse me for "horning in" on your response to Mike but just had to say how much I liked the color of the Tequila Lime with the white center. Had never seen any green zinnias that had appealed to me before, but this one is spectacular. It should really look nice planted near lavender and/or apricot colored ones. Also liked the fluffy white one; did I understand you to say that you created this one?

Don
The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies - Gertrude Jekyll
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Mar 6, 2016 3:17 PM CST
DonfromPA said:...Also liked the fluffy white one; did I understand you to say that you created this one?

Hi Don, Welcome!
Yes, the "fluffy white one" is one of my hybrids of hybrids. Lots of different great grandparents. If I had a favorite zinnia color, it would probably be white. And I like to cross white zinnias with other zinnias. This is another of my white zinnia "creations".

This is another white breeder.
Thumb of 2016-03-06/ZenMan/124c69
And another, showing the complete plant.
Thumb of 2016-03-06/ZenMan/99a0da
I strive for Burpeeana style plants, or taller. The Burpeeana style plants are bushy and well branched. This next zinnia bloom isn't pure white (it is more of an ivory color inside the tubes), but I like its "star burst" flower form.

Its "petals" are thin tubes, with their "topside" color unfortunately inside the petals. I have some multi-hybrid recombinants that have good petal color (usually white) on the backside of the petal, and I hope to finagle around and get that good color on the outside of my tubular petaled "starburst" zinnias. I have, as they say, "a lot of irons in the fire."

ZM
I tip my hat to you.

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