When my interest in gardening and garden design began, I was drawn to very bright colors. (I also disliked foliage variegation and Hated succulents!) This attraction lasted, believe it or not, for about 10 years. Cut to 1995: I had just started my business and was doing mostly flower garden maintenance. A little planting and design, but not much. I would also occasionally help out Sue Fitzsimmons, garden designer extraordinaire (and the reason I do what I do). What I noticed about the plants she chose was that there were a lot of pale, pastel, muted colors. In other words, the gardens were Cool. Sophisticated. Relaxing. Calming. Ahhhhh. Ok! I thought, these are the kinds of garden that Real designers create. And it wasn’t just Sue. Everywhere I looked- design magazines, plant catalogues, garden tours, etc. there were muted shades of greens, grays, blues, pinks, creams and whites. It felt really good to me and my preferences started to change. I eventually got to the point where I said that I disliked most reds, yellows and oranges in the garden. I considered these colors to be garish, harsh and aggressive. Now granted, I live on the Coast and we have lots of overcast or foggy days and cool colors in the garden do complement these gray skies, but NO hot colors at all?? Pretty closed minded, right? Here’s some pictures of my garden that were taken 2 & 3 years ago:
See a theme?? Very Coooool….. For the record. I love these images and I love these colors, but recently I’ve been ITCHING for something more. COLOR. Bright, vibrant, warm color. Tangerine, raspberry, lime, and purple.
I saw this image from Annie’s Annuals recently (see a couple posts ago!) and can’t get it out of my head. It has inspired me to go for it in my garden this year:
Vibrant Colors- from Annie's Annuals catalogue
Aren’t these colors just luscious? (broken record?) I’ve just now completed stage one in my color renovation. I’ve planted about 30 new perennials & annuals in the ground. The reason I had the room to add these plants is because this winter the gophers ATE about 40 Bearded Iris (bastards!!), 4 Nepeta ‘Six-hills Giant’ (which take up lots of room…) and also a few of my large English Lavenders decided to give up the ghost on their own. All this space is now filled with soon-to-be-brightly-colored plants with nice, snug gopher baskets around their roots. There’s nothing I can do about all my softly-shaded roses at this point, so it should be interesting to see how all this comes together!
The next stage is POTS. LOTS of color-poppin’, gotta-dance pots.
I’ll keep you posted!