by germinatrix | May 28th, 2009
Red. Orange. Yellow.
These are my colors – I love it when my garden can literally singe your eyeballs with the hot side of the spectrum. I never understand when clients say “absolutely NO ORANGE” – and they say that alot. or “no RED – Martha Stewart says it’s tacky”
Sorry, but painting your house the color of eggs that shoot out of your chicken’s butt might also be construed as tacky. Okay, so the eggs are shades of blue. Still.
I can appreciate soft colors. Sometimes. In other people’s gardens. In England. There is something about the light of Southern California that makes pastels kind of insipid. Give me something I can SEE!
You can still be subtle using hot colors, although it might seem like a contradiction. Just check out this Melianthus major/ Alstromeria ‘Salmon’ combo! That would pass muster in ANY tasteful garden – but of course, I throw in a Rosa ‘Red Ballerina’ and get all up in your face. By the way, check out the lovely study in silver over at the East_Side_Patch!
Summer is on the way – I know this because my hemerocallis are blooming their hearts out – they are my very literal red flags. I have about six shades of red daylilies. I love them! I just decided I love them again … I was out of love with them for about three years – they seemed too cottage-y, but now I can’t get enough of the cottage vibe! As long as the colors are scorching.
Okay, I understand why people would be afraid of the over-the-top colors, especially red. Red says “LOOK! I AM FABULOUS!” – and not everyone is ready for that kind of in-your-face attitude from a plant. Red in a garden also demands character from the rest of the plantings … it will look ridiculous if placed in association with wan, anemic colors and indistinct shapes. I think red looks fantastic with purples, orange looks scrumptious with chartreuse, and yellow makes odd, dusky colors like bronze really come alive.
Today, my garden was full of red blooms – earlier in the spring, the yellows of the aloes took center stage. Soon, my cannas will be popping, and orange will be the color of the moment. There are other colors of flower and foliage in the garden, of course – but my eyes, and my heart, belongs to those plants that dare to be loud; that risk being tacky.
We are kindred spirits!