I would dearly love to fill my garden with bright blue Hydrangeas and then retire from gardening altogether. It's my absolute favorite flower. But, they don't grow in my alkaline soil. (Well, they'll grow but even if I dedicate myself to 'round the clock perserverance they'll bloom pink instead of blue so what's the point?)
Pincushion flowers become a little schizophrenic in alkaline soils. They can't decide what color to bloom.
When you're a gardener, the grass is almost always greener. (Unless, of course, you live on Kauai.) Western gardeners have a unique set of challenges. As do Southern gardeners and Eastern gardeners and pretty much everyone who likes to dig in the dirt.
A few hardy perennials that take kindly to alkaline soil:
Alkaline, or sweet soil, has a pH of 7.3 or higher.