My Everchanging Garden

Gardening That Grows With Me

Looking Under The Yellow

“Be like Curious George, start with a question and look under the yellow hat to find what’s there.”  James Collins

While I’m not sure this is entirely what Mr. Collin’s meant, looking under the hat at my garden I’ve come to realize how little yellow I have in my garden.  While I have the traditional spring daffodils & yellow pansies, most of the yellow in my garden during the remainder of the gardening season comes in the form of yellow (or chartreuse) foliage.  And I’m not sure why?  While hot yellow can be a bit jarring in the wrong place, yellow brightens up the shadows in the shade garden and can act as a focal point in the garden.  Perhaps it is because the majority of my garden is designed using shrubs and trees with only a few easy care perennials thrown in for colour.  I have found that with careful selection you can have continuous blooming shrubs all season and as a result have not been particularly attracted to a higher use of flowering perennials.  Yellow flowering shrubs tend to be concentrated in spring (think forsythia, magnolia, hamamelis).  But nevertheless, I think I need to consider adding some more yellow bloomers here and there in my garden.

Hamamelis blooming in March

By early March I feel the need for colour and am always thankful for the small, but cheery blooms of Hamamelis Westerstede

Forsythia blooms

The forsythia are always a treat to see although the deer and rabbits seemed to find the tender young shoots a treat as well.

Yellow irises

Some delicate soft yellow irises given to me by my Dad from his garden.

yellow daylilies

I have several varieties of yellow daylilies in the garden. These, Happy Returns, are a nice soft yellow and look great mixed with white hydrangeas and deep red roses.

Daylily Bonanza

Some Bonanza Daylilies planted at the edge of the hawthorn bush brighten up an otherwise dark area.

Creeping jenny groundcover

I love creeping jenny. Thankfully I have a large garden and do not have to worry about it’s rapid growth rate.

Sweet Kate spiderwort

I planted Sweet Kate Spiderwort among some Pachysandra already growing on the east side of our house. It’s bright foliage adds colour then can be cut back to the ground. The Pachysandra is tall enough to hide the deadheaded plant until it regrows fresh new foliage later in the season.

Golden Spirit Smokebush

Truthfully I didn’t like smokebush until I saw this one — Golden Spirit. I actually cut it back a bit each year which means it doesn’t ‘smoke’ but I love the bright foliage.

Spiriea Goldmound

Another great shrub for gold foliage – Spirea Goldmound.

Yellow carrots, zucchini

Does growing yellow vegetables count? We grew yellow beets, carrots & zucchini to name just a few this past year.

Black eyed susan

A favourite, I have rudbeckia (Black Eyed-Susan) throughout the gardens. Each year I shake the seedheads somewhere else in the naturalized areas, hoping to spread it’s cheer a little further.

Clethra alnifolia

Yellow appears in my fall garden in the form of fall leaf colour. While some years are more red, this past year was a year of bright yellows. Here is Clethra alnifolia.


My ginko tree turning yellow. What is funny to watch is the leaves will be bright yellow once day, then drop all at once, forming a yellow blanket on the ground underneath the tree.

yellow foliage sugar maple

The sugar maple by our house was more yellow than red this year, but beautiful none-the-less.

sassafras leaves

And finally the beautiful gold & yellow hand and mitts of my Sassafras tree


  1. Mike on

    Great pics, am considering some of these for our garden & I hope to appreciate them as much as you do! Lovely.


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