Friday, February 11, 2011

Color Essay Number 6: Mauve

A bee visits the Allium in my garden

The Circle garden at the back of our yard

In my spring garden, the color mauve first appears in brightly colored tulips. A few weeks later, alliums bulbs send their deep mauve fireworks skyward. Lilacs and shade loving Meadow Rue then pick up and wave a mauve color banner, as the alliums begin to set seed.

Here in my garden and elsewhere as noted, are some of the prettiest mauve flowers that my husband and I photographed last summer. They run roughly in order of bloom time, from spring to fall. 

Lilac from my garden

Meadow rue in my garden (A great plant for moist shade)

Thyme at Lucy Maud Montgomery Garden, Norval Ontario.

A delicately colored delphinium at Humber Nursery in Toronto.

A mauve clematis in my garden 

There are so many beautiful clematis on the market these days, aren't there? I am a great one at shopping for end of the season bargains and this clematis is one such purchase. I planted it long before I ever dreamed of blogging and so I am sorry, but I do not know its name. 

Thistle (Centaurea hypoleuca ' John Coutts')

New to my garden is this Thistle. I planted it in my front garden last summer, but after seeing it in all its abundant splendor at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, I now know that it needs way more space than I alloted it. In the early spring, I think I will definitely have to move it.

Apart from the mauve phlox in my garden, this is probably my favorite mauve flower of the past summer (see below). My picture does not do it justice, but don't let it put you off considering it for your garden. It is very undemanding and blooms for a long period of time. The flower is basically a hollyhock in miniature.

False Mallow 'Party Girl' (Sidalcea) It will self-seed, but is not invasive.

On my "most wanted" list is a Foxglove. (This one pictured, Humber Nursery, Toronto)

Cosmos in a schoolyard in Mississauga, Ontario

Cosmos are great, easy to grow annuals and I plan to add more to my garden next year. I must confess that I usually cheat and buy young seedlings, rather than start my own plants from seeds. ( If I were to plant the seeds in the garden directly, I would never see flowers before the cold of fall set in. Our growing season here is just too short.)

Obedient Flower ( warning: some varieties are invasive)

Laura Bright Eyes in my front garden. Phlox is always described as tolerating shade, but I find that it does not perform nearly as well in shade.

Pale Mauve Sedum at Edwards Garden, Toronto

I have a small collection of sedums, including this pale mauve variety above. (My clump is more modest than this lovely one at Edwards Gardens in Toronto. I was so impressed with the display of sedums there, that I am determined to add to my own collection next summer.)

Edwards Gardens, Toronto

A final bit of mauve from the fall season to end with: An ornamental cabbage with a mauve heart.

Have a great weekend!


  1. I enjoyed all of these photos..thank you, and also for identifying them which always helps. You have a great weekend as well.

  2. Mauve and lilac were my grandmother's favourite colours. What a treat your lovely post would have been for her! Your photography is marvellous. The picture of the bee buzzing about your allium is such a winner! And your circle garden is too beautiful!

  3. Hi Jennifer!

    I've just managed to catch up on your posts now & have left a message on the last one as well as this one ;)

    Hope you have a good weekend :)

  4. Spectacular photos of one of my favorite colors. Always been sweet on purple/magenta/mauve/lavender <3

  5. Jennifer, beautiful photos as always. Mauve and pink are among my favourite garden colours. I'm quite captured by that circle garden of yours. Interesting to learn cosmos won't bloom from seed in our short season. I purchased some last year with hopes of having it in my garden this year. Perhaps I'll start them inside.

  6. Such a great sight to treat the eyes today. So beautiful. I am glad you posted the Meadow Rue pictures. Someone had given me some seeds and I was wondering what it looked like. I am going to like it in my shady beds. Lilacs! I cannot wait until they bloom. Such wonderful fragrance and so does Laura phlox. Oh, I want summer here. LOL!

  7. This color really stands out in the garden. Your post reminds me to replace my foxglove this year.

  8. Jennifer, I just love the way you have divided your posts by color. I have not seen a color yet that I did not like. I have had trouble identifying some clematis and went onto the large clematis nursery sites and the Clematis Association and was able to identify all of them.

    Many of them look the same except for the centers and striping.


  9. Lovely post to wander through. I loved getting a glimpse of the circle garden and imagined what else might be there.

  10. Love your blooming mauve, but love that bee in the first shot. Such a great capture.

  11. There are so many lovely mauves aren't there. I love the shot of your Circle Garden and that beautiful Clematis!

  12. Your post definitely made me want some more mauve flowers and improved my weekend. Such lovelies! The bee photo astounding. I really like that circle garden. It is so perfect and exactly my style. Lovely!

  13. One of my favourite colours - in it's deepest, hottest iteration. I've taken to using it with orange in my flower boxes - trying to echo the insanely brilliant colour combos found in the Indian sahri's I use to create a sort of tent over my balcony. I just love tossing all those hot, bright colours together! Belated HB to H - how did we all get to being in our 50's!??? Only the packaging is changing though - the contents still feel fresh!

  14. Hola Jennifer, such a pleasure visiting your blog, your garden is just amazingly beautiful!!!!!
    hugs from Chile
    maria cecilia

  15. I wish our blogs had Smellavision so I could sniff that lilac through my computer!! Beautiful, as usual! I am passing on the Stylish Blogger Award to you for your wonderful blog! Hooray!

  16. Hi, Jennifer, I was just sent to your blog via Casa Mariposa, and I am instantly in love with your blog! Who wouldn't love a name like 'Three Dogs in a Garden', and I think your Circle garden is fabulous! I look forward to exploring your blog further.

  17. Jennifer I was practically drooling over the tulips and the scent of the lilac was overwhelming.. yes needing spring and you certainly provided it.

  18. aloha,

    what a beautiful collection of tin cans, i love the flower compositions - it matches so well with your tin collection...bravo

    thanks for sharing this today


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