Twilight magic in icy pink & blue


Purchased for its cool blue foliage, the pale pink flowers of ‘Bath’s Pink’ dianthus were unexpected. For some reason, I thought they’d be hot pink.


But at twilight, paired with blue, pale pink is magical. ‘Bath’s Pink’ looks smashing with the Texas bluebonnets. Its icy blue foliage harmonizes with the cobalt of the bluebonnets and bottle tree and echoes the cool blue of the ‘Whale’s Tongue’ agave.


It looks fabulous with the blue gazing ball.


Gulf Coast penstemon (P. tenuis) carries along a similar color scheme.


Pale lavender and blue at dusk—lovely.


Now just add the clove-like fragrance of the pinks (aka dianthus) and enjoy twilight magic.

All material © 2006-2010 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

17 Responses

  1. Sylvia (England) says:

    Pam, Your garden is looking beautiful. I love the foliage of pinks too. I keep promising myself that I will get some but I don’t. Not sure why, perhaps this will be the year. After a few year when I couldn’t get lupines to grow, this year I have several plants and I am looking forward to them flowering. They all should be blue but some I grew from seed so if they are not blue – they will be coming out!

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

    I had pink bluebonnets (lupines) for a while, and that just seemed wrong. I finally plucked them all out. —Pam

  2. The blue and pink work well together. I imagine you in a soft white gown walking the garden at twilight……….

    Ha! Not really my style (think dirt-streaked T-shirt & muddy jeans), but thanks for the thought. —Pam

  3. Janet says:

    I love the fragrance of the Dianthus….have one that smells like Old Spice (that is its name as well). The clove fragrance on the breeze is heavenly.

    Yes, it is. Such a pleasing smell. —Pam

  4. Is that dianthus native here in Austin? If not, is it relatively easy to establish & grow? It is gorgeous, I want some!

    Dianthus is native to central Europe, I believe, Jessica. But it IS well adapted to central Texas, coming through last summer’s drought with no special babying and only some slight browning and thinning of its center, which disappeared in new growth this spring; the winter’s hard freezes didn’t faze it either. It wants well-drained soil (not heavy clay) and sun. I just saw some at the Natural Gardener. —Pam

  5. Leslie says:

    I love dianthus for the foliage also…and that pink is an added benefit. It’s really looking lovely in your garden.

    Thanks, Leslie. —Pam

  6. Floridagirl says:

    Wow, what magical photos! I love the blue accents in your garden.

    I’ve kind of gotten carried away with the blue pots, Floridagirl, but they do work so well with the colors of succulents. —Pam

  7. Layanee says:

    A perfect pair. Don’t you love the unexpected images produced in a garden globe? It is another little world.

    I had to go back and see if I’d photographed myself in it, Layanee. But I’m still not sure if that’s me in there or something else. —Pam

  8. Hello Pam,

    I love visits to your garden because you have so many cool colors. The blue gray foliage, purples and pinks are my favorites.

    Thanks, Noelle. I actually have a weakness for hot-blooming plants. But for foliage I tend toward the glaucous. Am in danger of going overboard with it, I think. —Pam

  9. Exquisite! Love those cool colors and combination of textures/shapes.

    Thanks so much, Iris. —Pam

  10. Phillip says:

    So beautiful – the plants in your rock containers are perfect and go together so well. I love your garden.

    Thanks, Phillip. Coming from you, I’m quite flattered. —Pam

  11. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Don’t you just love this time of year. Everything looks so pretty. Your blue on blues are terrific. I especially like to be in the garden at this time of day. Aaaa

    Me too, Lisa. But the mosquitoes are revving up here. Are you troubled by them in Indiana? —Pam

  12. Town Mouse says:

    Beautiful! And your garden is so far along already. With the rain and cool weather we’re having, mine is still far behind.

    Thanks for the beautiful pictures!

    My pleasure, Town Mouse. April is high spring in Austin; we’re actually running a little late this year due to the hard freezes in January. —Pam

  13. Fabulous collaboration for twilight or any time. I keep looking for a spot for that dianthus.

    It likes an open, sunny, well-drained spot, Linda. If your lot doesn’t offer that, maybe you could find a sunny spot for a container of it? —Pam

  14. Chookie says:

    Lovely colour combinations! I’ve decided I’m going to have some pinks when I get my new herb bed, but I’m still deciding on the cultivar.

    There are many to choose from, I think, Chookie. Have fun deciding on your pinks! —Pam

  15. Pam says:

    Do your dianthus keep returning? My tend to fizzle out after a year or two – and I’m not quite sure why (I’m zone 8b too). That pale pink one is a favorite of mine – and boy, it’s sure sweet with those blue bonnets. (And there’s that whale tongue agave in the background – boy is that something).

    Pam, I’ve only had this dianthus for a year and a few months, since my garden is so new. I don’t actually know whether this plant is short-lived, but perhaps so. Thanks for the heads-up. —Pam

  16. Karen says:

    http://www.penick.net/digging/images/2010_04_21/Agave_Dianthus_Bluebonnets.JPG
    Love your site and photos. thank you for all your hard work. question: in this photo, what is the name of the large spiked plant in the back on the left? reminds me of a cross between cacti and aloe vera. thanks.

    That’s a ‘Whale’s Tongue’ agave (Agave ovatifolia), Karen. It’s cold-hardy as far north as Dallas. —Pam

  17. Karen says:

    http://www.metromaples.com/catalog2010.htm

    Crimson Prince – A new red leaf dissectum that has already proved its toughness and is vigorous in the heat. Will grow to 8 foot tall and wide. A weeping Japanese Maple. Have you heard of this one? We live in Sugar Land, TX. About 23 miles Southwest of Houston. We are thinking of planting some type of Japanese Maple in our front yard. It will get full sun for most of the day. Think this type will make it here? Thanks again. Karen

    I don’t know much about Japanese maples, Karen. Until recently I was bearish on them for Austin, but I’ve since learned that with a cool, northern, shaded location they can be pretty self-sufficient. I’d be leery of planting one in full sun in Texas. —Pam

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