Unfortunately, yellow puts me to sleep.

I know yellow is the color of sunshine, peace, love, happiness and all that, but I just don’t care for it. There’s just too much of it and it’s EVERYWHERE. Wikipedia says yellow is the most common color for flowers.

Practically the first flower to emerge out of snow and mud is the hated dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). Every late winter, enjoying the sea of little gold flowers, I mentally wonder what the world has against dandelions. And every year I remember soon enough, as we spend the year digging up tenacious dandelion roots and watching white puff-balls blow millions of fertile dandelion seeds everywhere.

Whitman thought dandelions were innocent? Most of us realize that they’re anything but. They have a scheme to take over your land via underground stolons. Beware!

In February, many people cut a few forsythia branches to “force” indoors. In March, when the first forsythia blooms burst forth from what used to look like dead sticks, it is indeed exciting, for a minute. But when my yard and every other yard on the block are full of forsythia, some healthy, vigorous and well-pruned and some languishing or pruned within a branch of their lives, forsythia seems awfully common. There are plenty of more unusual early spring bloomers.

When I say common, I mean in the sense of “average, ordinary, garden variety.” Dandelions are a common lawn weed and forsythia is a common attempt at landscaping an empty yard.

Daffodils come soon after forsythia, often before the snow has completely melted. They are also traditionally yellow. I planted white ‘Thalia’ daffodils, which bloom later than standard yellow ones, and increase yearly.

The poet, William Wordsworth (1770-1850) famously wrote of “crowds” of daffodils (above), but I think more in terms of gangs of daffodils. Careful planting of early- mid- and late-blooming varieties can give you a steady supply of golden daffodils from March until late May, should that be your wish.

Late April-early June sees hundreds and thousands of buttercups in the lawn. There are some 600 species of Ranunculus, many of which are called “buttercup.” Whichever flower you call a “buttercup,” it is yellow and native to where it grows. As children, we held buttercups up to each others chins and said “do you like butter?” Of course, everyone did. My yard is freckled with dots of buttercup.

By the time actual summer begins, after the solstice in June, yellow has taken over my yard. I didn’t always dislike yellow; there is archeologic evidence in the Coreopsis I planted years and years ago. My Coreopsis refuses to be restricted to one bed or one part of the yard, and splashes its drippy, melted butter color here and there. It has been spreading steadily, inexorably.

I also planted Achillea or yarrow too long ago to remember, a yellow, weedy variety of Achillea all along the path. (There are other yarrows which are white or attractive reds and pinks; but not for me.) It has spread too, sunny circles of sunshiny golden goodness spreading throughout the dreary world. Grrrr. I even find yarrow volunteers in the back, which is supposed to be my haven from yellow.

I have forgotten why we planted black-eyed Susans, which blot the street-side of the yard with a smear of mustard-y yellow beginning toward the end of July. Black-eyed Susans are allegedly named for a Robert Burns poem about a person named “Susan”, although the poem was probably written after the flower had acquired its name.

In July comes an onslaught of Stella D’Oro dayliles. There are certainly other yellow daylilies, but only Stella D’Oro (also called Stella Doro and Stella de Oro, meaning star of gold) is equally comfortable at a gas station foundation planting or hanging out at the mall. The first truly re-blooming daylily, Stellas are unbelievably sturdy and do, in fact, have flushes of rebloom off and on all summer. However there now exist many other reblooming daylilies that should be considered. Reblooming daylilies come in lots of colors, and now you can have a whole yard full of sporadically reblooming daylilies in a rainbow of colors. And you can certainly omit golden ones.

August sees all kinds of hideously yellow flowers in bloom, like sunflowers, yellow ‘purple coneflowers’ and cosmos. I just don’t grow those because, well, they’re often yellow. By the time I planted Helenium, I was actively looking for non-yellow cultivars. I liked Helenium as a nod to my sister Helen, as well as a reliable, easy-care, late summer bloomer. Most of the Heleniums available are yellow, however, but I traded with another Dave’s gardener for seeds to “Ruby Tuesday’ Helenium (which, as you can guess, is mostly red and not yellow).

There are fields of yellow marigolds and formal plantings of yellow canna lilies. It is really a difficult time for those of us who dislike yellow. (There must be others, right, it’s not just me?) Even the weeds are yellow!

For painter Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), yellow was a favorite color, maybe because there were, in the late 19th cenury, novel, more stable versions of yellow paint to use. His famous series of paintings of Sunflowers (one is below left) were painted in 1888 against a yellow background while he lived in a “Yellow House.”