Color in the Flower Garden
As you review your garden catalogs and plan this year's garden,
remember the impact of color. You can create a mood or even a change
of perspective in the garden by using certain colors.
Reds, yellows and oranges command attention. Our eyes are drawn
to warm colors so plant reds, yellows and oranges in key areas that
you want people to see. On the other hand, if you have something
in your garden that you want to hide, plant bright yellow flowers
opposite the area to draw attention away from the eyesore.
Edge steps or walkways with yellow flowers to catch people's eyes
in an attractive way. Color experts say that houses will sell faster
with yellow trim or yellow flower borders in front. Although not
a guarantee, yellow accents may be worth a try if you are in the
house selling market.
Red can have several effects. Bright red flowers planted at the
end of a long, narrow property will visually "pull" the end in closer
and it won't seem so far away. Red also physically arouses. Studies
show that food tastes better around red, so plant red flowers around
outdoor eating areas to help stimulate conversation and make food
Masses of red, yellow or orange annual flowers are guaranteed attention
getters. You can find true reds in varieties of salvia, celosia,
zinnia, geranium, and wax begonia. Marigolds and zinnias are often
used for yellows and oranges, but for something different try dwarf
sunflowers, calendula, gazania, gaillardia or nasturtiums. Tithonia
(Mexican sunflower) provides brilliant orange in the garden and
attracts butterflies too. The warm colored "Pin-Up Flame" begonia,
"Profusion Cherry" and "Profusion Orange" zinnias won 1999 All-America
annual flower awards. Numerous perennial flowers are warm toned
including butterfly weed (Asclepias), canna, cosmos, daylily, Maltese
cross (Lychnis), bee balm (Monarda), poppy, red-hot poker (Kniphofia),
lily, yarrow, Coreopsis, evening primrose (Oenothera), and Rudbeckia.
If red and yellow excite and draw attention, then blue is the color
we perceive as being cool and calm. By planting lots of blue flowers
you can create a feeling of coolness - even in a full-sun garden.
Lighter blues are better than dark blues. Those 95-degree days will
feel cooler in a garden with blue flowers. Blue tones can help widen
or lengthen the look of a garden because blue falls back visually.
Lots of blue flowers planted along the sides of a long, narrow garden
will make it seem wider.
Because blue is the first color to fade from sight as night falls,
you may want to incorporate light colors into a blue border if you
use your garden more in the evening. Blue tones in annuals are found
in petunias, blue salvia, lisianthus, ageratum and lobelia. If you
prefer perennials consider blue star (Amsonia), Aster, false indigo
(Baptisia), bellflower (Campanula), Delphinium, globe thistle (Echinops),
cranesbill (true Geranium), Russian sage (Perovskia), balloon flower
(Platycodon), spiderwort (Tradescantia), and speedwell (Veronica).
If you are a very neat, tidy person, then white may be the color
for you. Crisp flowerbeds of white will give your garden a well-planned
look. Masses of white can be hard on the eyes, so you may want to
incorporate other colors as well. White is the last color to fade
as night falls. If evening is the only time you have to enjoy your
garden, white flowers are a good choice because they can be seen
and enjoyed as darkness falls. Most flowers have white varieties.
Annuals that deliver good white blooms include petunia, wax begonia,
nicotiana, alyssum, and impatiens. White flowered perennials are
Goatsbeard (Aruncus), candytuft (Iberis), Lysimachia, Malva, and
Green is a good compliment to white because it helps your eyes
recover from the strain of bright white. Don't forget the shades
of green in leaves as part of your color plan. Variegated or multi-toned
leaves add a splash of interest, but extensive use tires the eyes.
What if your taste runs toward lots of different colors? That's
great! Just don't over do it. Mixed colors add a festive touch.
But, too much mixing can be more disorganized than festive. Repeating
three to four colors different places in the garden or flowerbed
helps tie everything together. Create transition zones between bright
colors with greens and whites. Progress from color to color using
intermediate tones. For example, shift from reds to pinks to blues
across a bed.
As you dream of summer and beautiful flowerbeds, think about how
you want to use color for not only the "look" but also the "feel"
FebruaryMarch 2000: Are
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Of Snow | Color In The Flower Garden
| Butterfly Gardening