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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – April 30

When the spring blooming plants finally break into flower after winter’s grays the bright colors lift our hearts. Well, most of our hearts anyway. The appreciation of color varies from individual to individual. I remember hearing one woman saying that she didn’t like the time when the Forsythia and the PJM Rhododendrons were in bloom because “the whole world looks like a giant Easter egg.”

I’ve had consultation customers who don’t want any yellow or orange flowers in their gardens and others who want the biggest, most dramatic plants that nature can provide. Some like red flowers only in small doses and others say large and bold is better. To each his or her own, right?

Whether we love a particular palette or hate it, color stirs strong emotions. When my friend and I drove past a brightly painted gallery in the coastal town of Chatham, Mass last week I could imagine the controversy that this paint job must have started. New England isn’t known for bold hues on buildings and the entire town must have been talking when the first brush strokes of green went down.

I have to say that the longer I live the more I appreciate daring choices, be they in flowerbeds or on structures. Life is too short to limit gardens to pink, blue and white and architecture to gray shingles.

I love this time of year when the Forsythia, PJM Rhodys and Magnolias are all in bloom. Bring on the color, the brighter the better!

Want to wake up a gray-shingled town? Color, color color. My only quarrel is that there should be some touches of flamingo pink to really rock this building.

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