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Helenium dilemma

Last year I started planting a border for the first time after a lot of wild growth was cleared after moving into our house two years ago.

I discussed with my wife what plant there, and for summer flowering we went with salvia caradonna as the 'base' with echinacea 'white swan' (and other echinaceas) and several heleniums.  

My problem - my wife has decided she doesn't like heleniums, they are too yellow for her (although the ones we had were orange / red ????).  I love them and don't want to dig them up (let alone waste the money i spent on them!), but she is asking what I would suggest replacing them with.

Any suggestions that would soften the blow if I do end up having to 'get rid'?

Would have to fit well with the echinacea and salvia (unless she decides that echinacea look too similar to heleniums and I have to get rid of them too!!).




  • Bright starBright star Posts: 1,152

    It would be a shame to dig them up as they are such beauties with a long flowering time and great for pollinators. If you like them they should stay in my opinion,  the garden is for you both to enjoy. Perhaps planting some that are red among them such as  ruby Tuesday or moerheim  beauty might just tone down the yellow ones. There are some great red colours. I'm sure others on the forum with more knowledge than me will suggest solutions. Fight to keep your Helenium, some compromise may be need from your wife!? Good luck?

    Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

  • TigrahTigrah Posts: 125

    I agree, surely a compromise can be made - it's your garden too! If you do have to remove some if them, try putting them in pots so you can still enjoy them and they don't go to waste! 

  • AngieRAngieR Posts: 347

    Might it be that the Echinacae are too 'white' and pink (depending what colour the others are that you have) are clashing rather than the fact she doesn't like the Heleniums?  They can often be difficult to place until you get the right companions.  

    In my garden the Heleniums are far more reliable that the Echinacae therefore I am a bit biased towards the Heleniums.  But at the end of the day it's all down to taste.     Perhaps spending some time image searching on the net for heleniums and companions might swing things in your favour Andy Leeds image.  Thank goodness nobody here cares for what I grow out in the garden!  

  • TigrahTigrah Posts: 125
     Perhaps spending some time image searching on the net for heleniums and companions might swing things in your favour

    See original post

     Yes! I did a quick search and there are plenty of companion planting ideas out there! 


    Edit: I don't know why the picture is so small...

    Last edited: 22 January 2017 14:41:06

  • AngieRAngieR Posts: 347

    Tigrah - I can't help why the image came up so small but yes, that's the idea.  

    aym280 - it's great isn't it image

  • I don't see any yellow heleniums here....


    She must be colourblind (or I am!).  Maybe I'll  try to cram in a few pink roses or something in there to try to appease her.

  • That was a completely new border planted last spring...  That photo was mid-August, after the alliums/poppies had finished.  All the heleniums here were from 9cm pots.

    This was late May just before the heleniums were planted.


    Glad you think its mature though ?.

  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,025

    In my opinion it's the pink (echinacea?) which provides the clash.  If it were my border I'd keep the white/yellow/orange/bronze colour scheme and move the pink things to a different bed...  image

    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • TigrahTigrah Posts: 125

    I think it looks lovely! If anything didn't fit to me it would be the cosmos, but since its an annual that wouldn't matter anyway image

  • Yep agree about the cosmos, they were only gap fillers last year so won't be there this year.  The only pink is the small potentilla in the foreground, no pink echinaceas.

    Problem is my wife would probably want pink, though I don't think pink, purple (salvia caradonna already there) and orange would work.  Or would it?   Maybe I could throw in those roses as I mentioned (Queen Anne looks ok?).  

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