by germinatrix | March 23rd, 2010
I’ll bet you thought I was going to write about plants. I thought so, too! But when I started getting down to the business of writing about color in the garden, my brain kept wandering, and it was as if something was whispering in my ear … Potted … Potted … POTTED! I couldn’t ignore it. I ran to one of the greatest garden stores around, Potted in the Loz Feliz area of Los Angeles. Here, vibrant color is the rule, the law, the raison d’etre. J’ADORE!!!
As a designer, I tend to be very plant-centric. I try to get as much color and sculpture out of my plantings as possible, and keep the hardscape on the simple side. But after the garden is totally installed, there is another layer – another opportunity to get wild with color – THINGS!!! I can’t imagine a garden without jewel-toned ceramic containers, or colorful seating, or colored gravel … or …
Tumbled glass is practically irresistible for the color lover. I’m a fan of using it in small doses – as a top dressing on containers, for instance. A little crazy-tinted glass goes a LONG way, so unless you’re doing a Las Vegas Showgirl Garden, you might not want rivers of the stuff - and I know this from experience. Rivers of tumbled glass easily tips the scale from exuberant to tacky*. Use it wisely and you’ll be happy. I rarely believe in restraint, except when I do.
(*any designers who I have inadvertently insulted by my declaration of colored glass being tacky in large amounts, please know that I insult myself as well – I fell prey to the lure of massive amounts of tumbled glass in a garden and the result haunts me, it looks so dated and silly. My bad, my issue – if you love it - DO IT!!!)
Containers are where I go mad. I cannot see using terracotta when there are so many amazing choices of glazed ceramic pottery. Is there a color theme in your planting? Echo it in the choice of your glazed pots! This kind of connective detail adds depth to your gardens. Since I love container planting, I have many, many glazed ceramic pots in my garden, in all different colors – I rationalize this because my garden is my “laboratory” and I need to try everything. I CAN choose a reasonable palette of glazed ceramic pots for other gardens, but I tend to like either a strong monochrome, or a crazy rainbow, like a crayola box. An extremist, that’s me – to the core.
For me, outdoor living is about having fun. The color that screams “FUN” louder than any is ORANGE!!! I Have an orange fixation. Admittedly, it’s not for everyone. Yes, some people want muted, relaxing colors in their gardens – but one thing every garden designer working in Southern California knows is that those colors wash out in the bright, hard, light we have. Saturated works for us! Chartreuse is as pastel as I get.
As many of you know, this is the year of Turquoise – thus sayeth Pantone. So I encourage everyone to go a different direction – let’s give the underdog colors a chance! Saffron, Lichen, Cappuccino, Citron, Paprika, Eggplant … these are colors that need your support!
In closing, this plant maniac wants you all to know that there are so many avenues to injecting your garden with color. Go crazy!!!
And a special thank you to Annette at POTTED for letting me snap away!!! Please stop over to Potted’s Facebook Fan Page and join the party!
Now please take a little trip around the country and visit my fellow blog linkers! They are all being extra colorful today!