Ugly Plants and Flowers

Discussion in 'Gardening Discussions' started by alana, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. alana

    alana Super Gardener

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Messages:
    646
    Occupation:
    Head Gardener
    Location:
    Far East of Suffolk
    Ratings:
    +1,948
    I find some flowers are ugly and I would not give them garden room. These include verbascum (bad colour, too tall and difficult to fit in any garden scheme), salvias (I just don't get them) and worst of all (for me) kniphofia. Anything overlarge, overbred or prickly is also a nono for me.

    I'm not keen on grasses unless they are mass plantings ala Piet Oudolf's designs.
     
  2. Nikolaos

    Nikolaos Super Gardener

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2019
    Messages:
    470
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    Ratings:
    +831
    I don't consider any plants to be ugly, TBH. My dislike of some comes from their colour (the intense yellow of some types of Narcissus, for example) but in the right setting I can appreciate why others like them, even if I'm not keen on them.

    I just don't get how you don't get them, @alana! :smile: Beautiful, delicate flowers, long flowering period, attractive to bees, what's not to like?

    Nick
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • alana

      alana Super Gardener

      Joined:
      May 5, 2008
      Messages:
      646
      Occupation:
      Head Gardener
      Location:
      Far East of Suffolk
      Ratings:
      +1,948
      I guess it's a bit mean of me to single out salvias but they do nothing for me, especially the super tall, overbred varieties and the long flowering period is a reason to dislike them. In my opinion all the best things are fleeting.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Redwing

        Redwing Wild Gardener

        Joined:
        Mar 22, 2009
        Messages:
        1,528
        Gender:
        Female
        Location:
        Sussex
        Ratings:
        +2,702
        Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the saying goes. These days I usually plant with wildlife in mind, which often means less showy varieties and uncomplicated native plants; single flowers attract more pollinating insects, for example. But as for “ugly “ plants, I’ve thought about this and to me the ugly ones are always to do with vulgar colours, the shocking pink of some roses is a good example. I think that’s what @Nikolaos is getting at with his dislike of overly intense yellow of a few narcissi. The OP mentions not liking verbascum; I think there is a pale yellow version.
         
        • Like Like x 1
        • Nikolaos

          Nikolaos Super Gardener

          Joined:
          Jun 26, 2019
          Messages:
          470
          Gender:
          Male
          Location:
          Midlands, UK
          Ratings:
          +831
          Yes exactly @Redwing, not a fan of garish colours here. But in a garden with an emphasis on hot colours or a polychromatic scheme, they can look lovely sometimes! Verdun's garden is a great example of hot and cool colours being thoughtfully combined IMO.

          Verbascums I'm pretty unfamiliar with, but some colours I like, like these...

          Verbascum phoeniceum Mixed | J Parker Dutch Bulbs

          With kniphofias it depends on the colour and I love some of the softer oranges, for example, but I don't think pollinators like them so I exclude them. Shame as they would do well in my heavy clay really, I think. Above all, I enjoy an animated garden filled with pollinators, it's sometimes even more important than a plant's appearance to me!

          Nick
           
          • Like Like x 1
          • Verdun

            Verdun Passionate gardener

            Joined:
            Oct 16, 2012
            Messages:
            7,475
            Gender:
            Male
            Location:
            West Cornwall
            Ratings:
            +17,453
            Alana, Alana, Alana ....I am gobsmacked :sad::)

            You mention salvias, kniphofias (I am selective and grow several dwarf and one or two of the best taller ones), grasses, etc....I love ‘em all :) And I grow them big:)

            Cannas here right now exceed 8’ tall as do several grasses....thalictrums the same or soar even higher so “loud n proud” for me:)

            Agree about Piet Oudolfs designs....prairie planting, persicarias, sanguisorbas, etc., but he does use big plants, uses masses of them, incl grasses, and they are all mostly pretty tall.:):noidea:

            Verbascums do nothing for me either, nor lilacs, roses, (don’t beat me up Wiseowl:sad:) nor unscented honeysuckles nor Wisteria (I do grow it but it’s glorious for a couple of weeks and then nothing!!:noidea:)

            Just read your post Nick......butterflies seem to enjoy the dwarf kniphofias here. A butterfly haven behind me on the Towans so I think I benefit from a few of them visiting here!:)
             
            • Like Like x 1
            • Informative Informative x 1
            • Nikolaos

              Nikolaos Super Gardener

              Joined:
              Jun 26, 2019
              Messages:
              470
              Gender:
              Male
              Location:
              Midlands, UK
              Ratings:
              +831
              Fleeting is great if you have a very large garden and the horticultural knowledge to plant accordingly, giving the brief-flowering plants a supporting or peripheral role. But in a tiny garden like mine long flowering periods are essential because there simply wouldn't be any overall impact otherwise.

              Nick
               
              • Agree Agree x 1
              • alana

                alana Super Gardener

                Joined:
                May 5, 2008
                Messages:
                646
                Occupation:
                Head Gardener
                Location:
                Far East of Suffolk
                Ratings:
                +1,948
                I agree on choosing plants pollinating insects are attracted to. My garden is cottage style and I love open flowers that make access easy for the bees and butterflies. Scent is also important so I tend to buy plants that have fragrance and look attractive.

                I'm not keen on orange in the garden but having tried to eradicate orange poppies over many years I've learned to love their crumpled petal delicacy.

                It's great that we have so much choice in horticulture that we can individualise our gardens and make changes if something doesn't work.
                 
                • Like Like x 1
                • Nikolaos

                  Nikolaos Super Gardener

                  Joined:
                  Jun 26, 2019
                  Messages:
                  470
                  Gender:
                  Male
                  Location:
                  Midlands, UK
                  Ratings:
                  +831
                  Ooh, that's so interesting Verdun, thanks for letting me know! I haven't seen any mention of them being pollinator-friendly plants so perhaps I should research those dwarf cultivars a little more! Would be great if I could find some cool-coloured ones and they would be perfect for my small garden!

                  Haha, I thought you'd have something to say about Alana's dislike of salvias, grasses and kniphofias! :biggrin:

                  Nick
                   
                • Verdun

                  Verdun Passionate gardener

                  Joined:
                  Oct 16, 2012
                  Messages:
                  7,475
                  Gender:
                  Male
                  Location:
                  West Cornwall
                  Ratings:
                  +17,453
                  Funny isn’t it? Used to hate orange in the garden ...now I love it. Orange kniphofias, osteospermum, geums Totally Tangerine and the double Firestorm, Orange heleniums, Orange cannas, echinaceas, crocosmias, dahlias, etc, etc.:)

                  Ha ha Nick....I am a tad mischievous both in my views and actions but nothing meant other than in fun.:rasp:

                  Incidentally, for pollinators I also grow quite a few single dahlias.....reputedly the doubles do not attract bees etc. (I disagree and think they do) but certainly the singles are always frequented by pollinators :)
                   
                  • Like Like x 1
                  • alana

                    alana Super Gardener

                    Joined:
                    May 5, 2008
                    Messages:
                    646
                    Occupation:
                    Head Gardener
                    Location:
                    Far East of Suffolk
                    Ratings:
                    +1,948
                    @Verdun I know you love your tall plants but I get the height in my garden from the shrubs and trees which I don't like to see dwarfed by a tall plants. Cannas, unless they are grown in pots, would look out of place here.

                    My cosmos are very tall this year but they are in my cutting patch and I love their ferny foliage.

                    Nick - I understand that long flowering is an essential if you have a small garden and little time. I spend as much time as I can in my garden and the expectation of blossom to me is as important as the fleeting beauty.
                     
                    • Like Like x 2
                    • Nikolaos

                      Nikolaos Super Gardener

                      Joined:
                      Jun 26, 2019
                      Messages:
                      470
                      Gender:
                      Male
                      Location:
                      Midlands, UK
                      Ratings:
                      +831
                      Your garden sounds amazing Alana, I love cottage gardens! :smile:

                      I don't have any hot colours in my back garden but the one exception is Pilosella aurantiaca (Fox-and-cubs). Doesn't last long (which is partly why it's allowed) and both I and the bees love it!

                      Nick
                       
                    • Nikolaos

                      Nikolaos Super Gardener

                      Joined:
                      Jun 26, 2019
                      Messages:
                      470
                      Gender:
                      Male
                      Location:
                      Midlands, UK
                      Ratings:
                      +831
                      Speaking of "fleeting", my musk-mallow has gone from this...

                      DSCN0615[1].JPGDSCN0678[1].JPG

                      ...to this about a fortnight later. :o( I've deadheaded, but far too late I think. Do you guys think it'll recover and make more flowers? I'm guessing no...

                      Edit: Sorry, didn't explain myself properly earlier. It just turned into a load of seedheads.

                      Nick
                       
                      Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
                    • Janet mahay

                      Janet mahay Gardener

                      Joined:
                      Oct 24, 2018
                      Messages:
                      174
                      Gender:
                      Female
                      Ratings:
                      +205
                      Hi flowers even weeds to me are not ugly all have some sort of beauty , benefits
                      imagine a world without any flowers unthinkable
                       
                      • Like Like x 2
                      • Agree Agree x 2
                      • mazambo

                        mazambo Super Gardener

                        Joined:
                        Sep 11, 2018
                        Messages:
                        722
                        Gender:
                        Male
                        Location:
                        Stoke-on-Trent
                        Ratings:
                        +1,229
                        Have my likes and dislikes plantwise but can honestly say I've never thought any plants look ugly.
                         
                        • Agree Agree x 4
                        • Like Like x 2
                        Loading...

                        Share This Page

                        1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
                          By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
                          Dismiss Notice