Friday, July 1, 2011

My Gardening Colors...

Recently I had my ‘colors’ analyzed, yes, that’s right, my ‘colors’. I have to admit that at first, I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to hear, but in the end, the session brought such enlightenment to my clothing, my jewelry and makeup choices (and it was fun!). I now know what colors fit me just right and help to bring out my best features naturally. The same holds true in art and of course, in the garden!

Nature is complex, but rarely, if ever, do the colors we find in nature seem to be wrong. There are so many ways to use color so I try not to over think it. The key to figuring out color is to be creative, invent your own palette and use some general guidelines – no rules here!

Color combinations in our clothes, in art, in flower beds are all about contrasts or complements and harmonies. Primary reds and greens, which are opposite on the color wheel will create powerful contrasts.  While mixing pinks, blues, and silvers or, even warmer yellows and peaches are very calming and work together. Neither scenario is ‘right’ or ‘better’, it all comes down to what you like! You can create a mood of drama or one of peacefulness – all in the color decisions you make.

Of course, there are the non-plant materials that can also create a certain feeling. The style and paint color of your house, the presence and sound of water…maybe a pool, a stream or a fountain, and the kind of furniture you have, all create a mood.  I just love to see a brightly painted Adirondack chair sitting in a yard, bringing a bolt of electric color into a cool green palette.

As summer arrives so do the hot colors (and the hot weather!). Think of Black-Eyed Susans, bright yellow Yarrow, sunflowers and of course roses…in all kinds of deep colors. And don’t forget about the greens! Greens are refreshingly cool and the many hues of greens make as much of a statement as color when used correctly. Ferns, Hostas and Sedum can all create a stunning palette as well.

There is still a lot of summer left, so it’s also a great time to give your annuals a quick trim to keep their shape presentable. Don’t be afraid to give your flowers a haircut to keeping them looking good! July is also a perfect time to fertilize and give your plants a boost of energy. Between the haircut and the feeding, your plants will be looking their best for the rest of the summer.

I could go on about color and how much fun it is to play in the garden. I just smile when I think about the gorgeous palette of color that Mother Nature creates and savor these long days before autumn arrives and a whole new palette of colors explodes before our eyes.
... Frances Grossman

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