Chris De Burgh’s “Lady in Red” lyrics include these lines:
“I’ve never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight. I’ve never seen you shine so bright.”
A red dress is an attention getter. Red flowers have that same effect in the garden.
They have the added bonus of being low maintenance and easy to grow. They probably bloom better with a little more water, but mine do fine with less than ideal amounts. The rhizomes multiply yearly which makes it easy to share the bounty.
Dynamite Crape Myrtles have a deep, deep red color. For all of central Texas, Crape Myrtles are one of the best flowering small trees around. They come in so many different colors and are a trustworthy performer.
I’ve read that Dynamites are fast growers. That has not been my experience. Granted, the soil here is dense clay with lots of caliche and rocks.
They did not even bloom for the first two years and only had a few flowers the third year. Just when I was about ready to give up, they were covered with full, gorgeous clusters.
Turk’s Cap flowers are small but so attractive. The large, thin leaves look totally unsuitable for our hot summers. But it’s in full sun and has survived for five years, continues to grow and get larger.
Red Hollyhocks (Alcea rosea) have shoots coming up all around the mother plant. It surprised me to learn that hollyhocks are short lived with only a 2 to 3 year lifespan. However, they readily reseed.
Up close each tubular flower seems bold. Also known as Hummingbird bush, Wright’s desert honeysuckle, Wright acanthus, Mexican flame, and Wright’s Mexican flame. So it’s no surprise that hummingbirds, butterflies, and other insects flit around it.
Gomphrena also makes a good dried flower. I tried a few last year. If cut when the color is vivid, the color holds pretty well.
Standing Cypress or Texas plume, Red Texas star, Red gilia has been difficult for me to get established. I don’t know if that is because it is biennial here or that the seeds are not sprouting. But it is such a striking plant that I keep trying.
“One of the most breathtaking concepts in all of scripture is the revelation that God knows each of us personally and that we are in His mind both day and night.” Dr. James Dobson