Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The Magical Effects of Colour!

I am not an organised gardener. I don’t make plans and work out just where everything is going to grow. I just find a handy space and in it goes. Regardless of this gung ho attitude I have been pleased to note that the colour arrangements in the garden have worked without any help from me. Well not a lot of help. Frequently I have bought plants which were supposed to be of a certain colour only to find that they were completely different. If I had been of the planning brigade this would have been a big disappointment. As it is I just go with the flow. For example my pots of self sown Mimulus started to open as pink flowers but then as more opened the overall effect was of a burnt orange with some yellow. No pink at all! And where I put them on each side of the step they looked great but not as fantastic as they did once the Campanula started to blossom. The blue and orange was amazing together. Unplanned; I hadn’t even thought about it, but quite inspiring.  DSCF0055

The colour in the hanging baskets was a very hit and miss affair but amazingly it all worked together with some quite interesting combinations such as this Lobelia with the greeny yellow leafed plant. I am hopeless with names unless I’ve been growing that plant for years!


Even the greens make a picture. There is the silver green of the Eucalyptus; the dark green of the fir; the soft green of the honeysuckle; the spring green of the grass and the yellowy green of the hazel not to mention the different greens of the oak, the roses, the blackcurrants and the Rose of Sharon with its pinky tips. I dye more green fabric than any other colour because it is one of those colours that has infinite permutations and is loved by all. When I was a child I had to wear a brown school uniform and I hated brown but now I love the many and varied shades of brown. I even dyed some muddy field type fabric and appliquéd leaves all over it!

Leaves on Mud2 

The world is a better place for colour. It brightens up our days! And I shall go on being grateful that my garden is managing to be colourful without my help!


  1. I love your applique! You garden like do...I haven't started anything with perennials here yet, but previously, or when I gardened for others, I gardened as you described. I think you get a sense of what you like and perhaps because you chose it, it works. But, with you being an artist, you are probably a visual person, as I am, and I think things like gardening and fabric come naturally and instinctively and we don't have to plan out like someone who is more analytical! Janet

  2. Yes, the magical effects of color, as in rainbows when every primary color is in, placed side by side........ Have a great day! ~ bangchik

  3. Hmmm, I wouldn't have minded a brown school uniform. Our's was purple! Funnily enough though, I love purple/lilac flowers.

  4. Well as an adult Jo I can see that purple for a uniform might be going a tad too far but as a child I'd probably have loved it. Better than brown anyway!
    Janet you sound as if you garden like me. Just enjoying it and letting it all happen. It seems to work for you anyway as the pictures on your blog are lovely!
    Bangchik that is just what it is like... a rainbow and no one has ever said that a rainbow doesn't work! :-)

  5. What a striking combination of blue and orange Valeri - you must have been delighted. I had a similar accidental blue/orange combo a few years ago - borage and calendula. Must repeat it one of these days. Interesting what you say about green being such a popular colour. I wonder if it's because it is such a tranquil colour.

  6. Valeri I so appreciated your comment on the borage! I had no idea that bees were attracted to blue! Now with that piece of information in mind, I will certainly take care that that borage out back is well-tended. I noticed that the bees adore lavender as well, which makes sense, since the shades are quite close together.

  7. Accidental combinations often work i think because of the green's interspersed so that colours which would not mix well in a room or a dress seem to work ok in the garden.

  8. Anna you are right. Green is meant for tranquillity and often used in sick rooms for that reason! Rowena I always try to have some blue flowers in the garden for that reason. Borage is one of the best! Joanne you could be right but then again nature's colours have no harshness about them which is probably why they blend well! Val