Ornamental peppers in purple and orange/red.

I have to admit: I have a resistance to pink. I am not sure why. Maybe it’s because I had a pink bedroom growing up—Pepto-Bismol pink, that is. When I was given a choice of room color, it was a soft green. Go figure! Green—gardening—was my color choice directing my future path.

As I came into my own by designing flower gardens for our desert landscape, I had similar negative reactions to pinks. I absolutely abhorred pink with orange to the point that I told my staff: Never, ever put pink near orange.

Then, one day … I saw a rich fuchsia-pink bougainvillea as a backdrop to some gorgeous orange lantana. At first, I was resistant, and then, it struck me … I liked it! So I started experimenting in the nursery, putting together some different pinks, oranges, purples or blues and reds to see what I liked. I came up with what you might call jewel tones—a rich, deep pink; and an orange with a red hue, and a deep red. A touch of purple or blue seemed to support the other colors.

I even planted my “pass by every day” pots at my own home with these colors, and I soon became hooked.

Lessons to be learned from this?

  1. Experiment with plant and color combinations at the nursery.
  2. Try colors that you might not normally combine.
  3. Keep it simple with how many colors you put together in one pot. Combine and repeat.
  4. Enjoy playing with color!

This Week in Your Desert Potted Garden:

  1. Plant some tomatoes (full-size plants) and other fall vegetables and herbs.
  2. Use an organic fertilizer along with some time-release fertilizer when planting in containers.
  3. When you plant the tomatoes, dig a deep hole, and bury as much of the plant as possible.
  4. Water well after planting.

Marylee Pangman is the Desert’s Potted Garden Expert. Marylee is available for digital consultations, and you can always email her with comments and questions at potteddesert@gmail.com. Follow The Potted Desert on Facebook.

A Combination of Strong Colors