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Color Conversations

Garden Reports and Rejoicing – June 14

One aspect of garden design is creating ways for the colors of plants to have conversations. When we put plants together we aim for contrasting colors and textures, but we also look for repetition…we find ways for a plant’s flowers or foliage to be repeated elsewhere. When the pink of a flower is reflected in the burgundy of nearby foliage or other blossoms it makes for a pleasing garden.

Colors from plants can also be repeated on buildings. My friend Wendy once told me about someone she knew who loved a new plant so much she repainted her house to compliment the shade. We laughed because it seemed so outrageous, but now I think that I might be reaching that point. The way that the coral shutters repeat the yellow and pink of my ‘Magic Carpet’ Spirea shrubs makes me smile every time I come into the driveway or out my front door.

“Yellow and pink combined!” the shutters cry and the shrubs and respond “Agreed.” The flowers on the Heuchera ‘Swirling Fantasy’ chime in with bright, concurring voices. “Yellow and Dark Pink” these coral bells echo.

The bottom line is that if you put just about any flowers together it will look good. But if you find ways to start conversations between colors, you’ll have a garden that lifts your heart.

The shutters, Spirea and Heuchera flowers are all agreeing about the color coral. Since coral (a shade of orange) is the complementary color for blue, this combination contains shades of all three primary colors, and that's one thing that makes this garden look good.

One Response to “Color Conversations”

  1. 1
    Joyce:

    Our house is purposely a very neutral BEIGE with burnt umber shutters and white trim. Our flowers just talk among themselves, unaffected by our house colors, brightly showing off in front of it!

    Beige background allows color design for dummies! :-)