Color

Liriope muscari and Tete d tete daffodils

Who recalls the opening scene of the movie, The Color Purple? The camera panned out to reveal a field of beautiful lavender cosmos. Without watching any further, the producer captured my attention.

Color in the garden can cause a head to turn with anyone passing by. It is the gardener directing and producing the affect. While most gardeners don’t have the acreage, time or inclination to plant a field of cosmos, we all have the ability to create an eye-pleasing space even if it be as simple as a well-placed potted plant.

Color is oft times ill-considered. With thought, It can warm up a cool spot in the garden by using warm shades of red, orange and yellow flowers. Conversely, that southern hot spot would do well to visually drop the temperature taking advantage of hues of silver, lavender, purple and blue. The colors are not only found in flower choices but also foliage which extends beyond the blooming season.

A color chart can aid in furthering interest to gardening. For example, two spring containers gracing each side of my front deck are filled with daffodils and liriope muscari. The intense blue-purple flowers of the liriope cause your eyes to focus on the intensity of the yellow daffodils. Planting single colored bulbs would be attractive, but combining the two colors opposite each other on the color chart demand the attention of those walking up to the front door.

There are other plants such as mahonia that can bear the attention of anyone walking by in early spring. The new growth emerges in a coat of red before blending in with the aged deep green leaves below. Nature throws gorgeous yellow flowers into the mix that will wow anyone passing by. Yet this plant isn’t done with its show until the purple berries come forth. This is just one shrub bearing multiple shades within the color chart. And did I mention the deer don’t eat this plant? Come to think of it, they don’t eat daffodils or liriope muscari either!

There is something to be said for planting a monochromatic garden. Using just one color throughout can be breathtaking as experienced in the opening scene of the movie mentioned above. Many years ago I had the pleasure of visiting the white gardens found in the Gertrude Jekyll estate in England. A whole section of the garden sported all types of flowers, but they all displayed white blooms. The textures and various heights kept the eye bouncing from one plant to another and always the purity noted with white. It was a sight to behold.

As you consider which containers or sections to accent within the garden for summer color, use the color chart to see if your choices capture the eye. Play with textures as well as hues. Don’t forget the vegetable garden. Can you imagine marigolds against the deep purple of eggplant? Try it – the rewards will be amazing!

Have a great weekend.

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