Sunday, May 16, 2010

Color In The Garden

I went on a garden dig awhile ago to glean plants for a sale to benefit our local historical house.  This is part of our community involvement activities that we do with the garden club throughout the year.  The property is expansive and I felt I was at an arboretum rather than a private home.  I experienced a level of anxiety knowing I would never be able to take care of this property.

Nevertheless, I had met the owner of this property previously at the Midwest Garden Symposium at the Morton Arboretum.  She is what the English call a Plantswoman, very knowledgeable about her plantings but still normal enough to say, "Oh, I don't remember the name of that one." 

Her opinions about color were important and somewhat surprising to me.  She uses no pale colors, like pale pink, violet, light yellow, peach, etc.  Our master gardener feels that only bright colors pop in the garden, like reds, purples, bright yellows, vivid oranges and always white.  I am afraid I have to depart from this opinion especially for my back garden where I love the softness of the pinks in the heat of the summer.  I am even doing pink as a theme in my front garden along with reds, pale yellows, white, magenta and blue. 

The back patio heats it up a little with bright orange geraniums and orange hibiscus, softer fountain plants variegated Algerian Ivy and Cordyline for a centerpiece on the coffee table.  All of the surrounding areas are laced with pinks, whites, blues, white and bright rosy orange.  I think my master gardener friend was correct when she mentioned that you can put orange and red together if you mix in purple, stunning by my vegetable garden!

I feel I am creating a mood, not necessarily a color palette.  It is also important to note that when you have very little frontage to your property you do not necessarily need vibrant colors that pop.  You are close and personal to each person who walks by or comes to your home.

I guess what I really learned from this digging experience is to know when to quit, not quit gardening but to quit going on and on and on when you know you can't do it anymore.  One never has to quit gardening, just quit gardening so much!

18 comments:

Jim Groble said...

Your containers look wonderful. We just started with ours. jim

Lily said...

Wow! Very nice compositions!

Gloria said...

Wow! you have some seriously beautiful flower arrangements. Lovely! -

Gloria said...

Wow! you have some seriously beautiful flower arrangements. Lovely! -

RainGardener said...

Your containers are so nice and you have such a big variety of them. I'm behind as usual but will start this week. I always fall for so many perennials I'm late getting to the annuals. Good advice about knowing when to quit. I've been forced to learn that, although for different reasons than you're suggesting - because of a messed up back and surgeries I have to quit or I won't be making it out again the next day. LOL

Bernie said...

There is just such a world of difference between your fabulous containers and my 'potted plants'! Your beautiful pots overflowing with blooms are more like works of art really!

My favourites have to be the patio pot at the top and the basket of Superbells. Such brilliant colours!

On the subject of colours in the garden ... I do like the soft pinks and purples too, but in our bright sunshine they look rather inconspicuous. The colours in these containers are far more suitable for drawing the eye!

Just a quick aside ... the art gallery is looking great!

garden girl said...

Very nice containers Eileen. Your arrangements are so colorful and pretty.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Jim,

I am usually not this proficient getting all my containers done this early, but it is amazing what knowing company is coming will do!

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Lily for your nice comment.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thank you Gloria.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Raingardener,

Take it easy in the garden. You know it is a great hobby, one you can do forever as long as it is manageable.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Bernie

In the bright sun or intense heat, the pale colors do fade out and the hot colors do seem more appropriate when it is 90 degrees.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Garden Girl for the nice comments.

Eileenn

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Hi Eileen. Oh, girl your containers are just beautiful. I love your plant combination's to the pots. The hibiscus and the mosaic container is so lovely.

Stone Art said...

Lovely colours, I like your mosaic pots too.

Dave@TheHomeGarden said...

Eileen,

The containers look great! I have to agree with you on the lighter shades of color. Especially when you have a shady area, they seem to provide additional depth.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Stone Art, love your site, especially the fact that it is in Ireland - lots of relative over there not too far from you.

Eileen

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Dave, I would hate to cut out all of those beautiful soft colors which make us feel so relaxed.

Eileen