May 10, 2022
Celebrate Year of the Garden by Planting Red
By Gail Pope,
Journalism Intern, Landscape Ontario

Did you know 2022 is officially the “Year of the Garden” in Canada? The Canadian Garden Council (CGC) created this year-long campaign to celebrate the many physical and mental health benefits of gardening, as well as the positive impact plants have on the environment. And they are calling on Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast to be part of the celebration.

Whether you’re a seasoned green thumb or just picking up a trowel for the first time, we hope you will dig into your garden this year. One easy way to join the YOTG 2022 movement is to plant red. The CGC is spotlighting red plants to honour the many people lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the millions of Canadians who stepped up to support their communities as frontline workers. The organization also chose red to celebrate the historical beauty of Canadian gardens.

To help you get started, we’ve selected seven red plants we hope you’ll add to your garden this year.

Red rose

red rose Red roses are a classic cut flower, always popular on Valentine's Day. They are also great in the garden. Roses grow on shrubs with layers of petals that come together to form a rounded flower, one per stem. 

Better Homes & Gardens recommends an easy to manage rose like the Knockout Series, which has several low maintenance red varieties. Two other great red roses to plant include the Canadian Artists Series ‘Emily Carr,’ and the 49th Parallel Collection’s ‘Canadian Shield.'

Red tulip

red tulips Tulips are a classic sign that spring has arrived. A bulbed plant, tulips will rebloom each year, brining much needed colour to the garden after a long Canadian winter. 

The Spruce recommends full sun for tulips to grow, but they can be planted under trees that will create shade later in the season, when their leaves begin to grow. While you should plant tulips in well drained soil, be sure to water them thoroughly after planting. Tulips often thrive in soils that are more on the acidic side.

Red marigold

red marigold Marigolds, also known as Tagetes, are a circular flower with small petals that give off a radiant color. They are easy to grow from seeds and offer plenty of benefits for your garden. This flower is known to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, while also enriching the soil. 

Gardener’s Path advises full sun and soil that is well drained, as marigolds require little water. A rainfall once a week would be plenty since the marigold is able to thrive even in drought like conditions.

Red primerose

red primeroseLooking for the perfect plant for the shaded spot in your garden? Primrose is the perfect match. Primrose is an adaptable flower that blooms in late spring to early summer and can continue to grow into the fall. The primrose consists of four or five petals with yellow accents in the center. 

Gardening Know How recommends a shady spot for these flowers. Plant in well drained, fertilized soils and water one to two times each week. 

Red sulfur cosmos

red sulpher cosmos Cosmos flowers are a great addition to a garden with drier or sandy soil conditions. The flower can have one or two layers of petals and is complete with a yellow button center. Cosmos are also a great contribution to warding off pests like mosquitos and attract pollinators. This flower should be planted in early spring and needs to be watered frequently in the beginning stages. 

Gardeners Path recommends relying on weekly rainfall or one heavy watering per week after the flowers have bloomed. The soil should be well drained and drier. Cosmos do best with 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. 

Red geranium

red geranium Red geraniums bring a splash of colour to the garden. Big Eeze Dark Red is a great variety from Dummen Orange that does well in planters or the landscape. It also provides high heat and humidity tolerance. Angel Dark Red (pictured) is another beautiful red geranium option.

Garden Design recommends well drained and fertilized soil for geraniums. They also do best when they have at least six hours of sunlight each day. 

Red coneflowerkismet red coneflower

Coneflowers, also known as echinacea, are a beautiful, pollinator friendly perennial. A great rfed variety to plant this year is Kismet Red. They boast beautiful, large red flowers with chocolate brown centres and rebloom through the summer. Find a full sun space in your garden for this wonderful plant.

The Canadian Garden Council has an extensive list of red plant recommendations on its website. Happy gardening!