Friday, May 25, 2007

Purple flowers for Ron

My view on color in the garden: you need a lot of it. So I don't think much about coordinating plantings by color; the main thing for me is coordinating bloom times and including plenty of long-blooming annuals.

I do however have the greatest respect for those who do consider such niceties. I guess Vita Sackville-West is one of the most famous with her moon garden. Then, at the Jekyll-designed portion of Hestercombe a few summers back, we saw a wonderful formal arrangement of blue and white:

Do I consider myself capable of such an effect? I do not. But sometimes these happy combinations seem to simultaneously happen in nature, and I'm sure there is a reason for it. Many late spring flowers (like my purple aquilegia above) seem to have made an agreement to appear in soft, cool colors: pale pinks, purples, blues, and whites. At least all the ones I have come out in those shades. It almost seems a shame to impose my raucous purchases of bright lantana, diascia, osteospermum, and variegated coleus on this tranquil scene. Soon, however, the hardy geraniums, aquilegias, and sweet woodruffs will be done and it will be time for the yellows, oranges, and reds of summer.

In the meantime, I salute my friend Ron, who is planning an all-purple scheme for his front garden. I knew you'd like this aquilegia, Ron, and also, below, here's an annual more in the blue-violet range: torenia. Something you may want to consider.

On the pond front, a few finishing touches remain before I can unveil the completed installation, so here's another in-progress shot from yesterday.

Gotta love those pond guys!


LostRoses said...

I was thinking the same thing today about coordinating colors while I was planting pots. I seem to remember that I used to care about that, sticking to soft pastel colors. No longer! While I still have some areas like that, for the most part I'm after a riot of hot oranges, reds and yellows, electric blues and purple. I want to see some pizzaz when I walk out onto the patio! Too many trips to Mexico I think.

How lovely to watch your pond taking shape. Don't you love to watch workers do their stuff?

Ron said...

I feel so honored to have my own entry in GWI! And those annuals do look nice. For the record, it's not like everything in this humble little garden will be purple--there are plenty of perennials from the past of different colors; I'm imagining some nice juxtapositions.

Thanks again for the tips, and for the shout-out.

Can't wait to see the pond in action.

jim said...

My garden isn't so much a planned thing with arrangements of color. There's just a few things I try to avoid.

As a designer, I know colors that stand out are the light, bright ones, like white and yellow. They "steal the eye." So I try to avoid those colors in the garden. I try for jewel tones–purples, deep blues, rich reds, dark pinks. It makes the pale green of the house stand out more.

'Course, that's the plan. Gift plants from mom don't adhere. A few remaining plants from the past owner of the house don't conform. And then there's the tulips my wife bought in Holland in every jewel-tone known to man, plus even black, that came up yellow...

When I dropped off the forms at your house yesterday, I was tempted to sneak back and look at the pond progress. But didn't. Wasn't sure if you were back there drinking and gardening naked.

susan harris said...

I'm excited about that pond! And about color, you bring up a good point - succession. Why books and mags sometimes talk about color schemes as though garden colors are the same all season is beyond me. Cool colors are perfect in spring and hot colors in summer, and of course you can have both. Duh.