Annual Flowers in the Pink

A landscape dominated by pink flowers does not have to end when the flowering cherries, peaches, pink dogwoods or crabapples finish blooming. More and more new varieties of old favorite plants are available in pink shades. Pastel colors, particularly in pinks and lavenders have gained popularity in recent years. If pink is your choice, there are many annual flower varieties that are available for your selection and use.

Celebrity Chiffon Morn is a new petunia variety that won the All America Selections bedding plant award. Flowers are a soft pastel pink blending to a lighter center giving a soft, delicate appearance. To shift from the full sun location to a shady spot while maintaining a similar pink color, the impatiens variety Pink Swirl is available. For those wanting more intense pink in the shade, there are many other impatiens varieties to serve the need.

Pink-flowered strawberries for ornamental use were introduced about two years ago. Pink Panda was the first, but this year the variety Serenata has also been introduced. Both form good ground covers with flowers that are produced throughout the summer. Fruits are small, but with good strawberry flavor.

We often think of the durable celosia with flowers in red, deep rose, orange or yellow, but soft pastel pinks are also available in this plant. Pink Castle was an All-America winner with rose pink plume-type flowers. The newer introductions, Flamingo Feather and Pink Candle provide a different type of celosia with pale pink flowers.

Cosmos have always been available in pink shades, but some of the newer varieties add interest and lighter, more unique blending. Among such varieties are Candy Stripe which has white flowers edged with several shades of pink, or Daydream, which blends from pale pink on the outer petal to deeper pink near the center.

For the sunny, hot spot, there are a number of fairly new annual varieties available to carry out the theme. Portulaca variety Sundial Peppermint is one of these for a low edging. Flowering vinca varieties such as Tropicana Blush, Tropicana Pink, or Cooler Icy Pink are a few pink vincas. Zinnias are ideal for the hot, sunny location and those choosing pink will find many good varieties such as Fantastic Light Pink, Small World Pink, or the mildew- resistant, single-flowered zinnia Rose Pinwheel. For a background plant along with these, the Cleome variety Rose Queen will suit the environment.

For those wanting to add pink-flowering vines to a trellis or fence, it is hard to beat some of the clematis, although these are perennial plants. Clematis montana rubens, variety Odorata, is one of these. It produces abundant pale pink fragrant blooms in early summer. Nelly Moser is another variety with pale pink color blending. For a summer plant, well started plants of several Mandevilla varieties are available for a splash of pink on a trellis or arbor. Pink morning glories are not common, but for those wanting to add some, the Sunrise mix will provide flowers in pink shades along with some lavender and red-flowering plants.

For those wanting to carry the pink theme well into the fall, the flowering cabbage variety Pink Beauty will do the job. The leaves develop a pale pink color with a deeper pink in the center of the plant as the weather cools.

Of course, it is possible to develop a garden in whatever color or colors appeal to you. The varieties to choose from are abundant and the limitations are only those of the environment and the imagination.