Packera aurea (a/k/a golden groundsel or golden ragwort) in my garden; azaleas at the National Arboretum

Ever been excited about a new plant until you saw what was blooming nearby at the same time and the color combo almost made you retch? Sounds extreme, but that was my reaction to seeing the golden blooms of Packera aurea among the (can we say garish?) blooms of azaleas.

So I moved the Packera to a spot with no competing blooms but in clear view from my porch, and LOVED them there.  A perennial native to the Eastern half of the U.S., Packera likes shade just fine and is even evergreen – what a great groundcover!

So I loved it there until I got the bright idea to plant some Hellebores in that same high-visibility spot, where they made me VERY HAPPY in late winter and early spring….until the Packera started blooming and once again, retch!

So is gold one of those colors that just don’t play well with others? I could be overreacting, so I’m curious – anyone else have problems with some color combos in the garden?

A visit to the National Arboretum this week gave me a clue to my problem with the color gold.  That’s where I found a vast swath of Packera paired with some blue and white blooms and the effect is stunning! 

This is the new Claudia West design at the Arboretum’s Friendship Garden: “In 2019, landscape architect Claudia West led a complete plant community-based redesign of the front garden, which builds upon the foundations that Oehme and van Sweden laid nearly thirty years before.” The sculpture Demeter by John Cavanaugh is seen here.