Color Can Be So Subjective

So on Monday I ranted a bit about why I find succulents–and in particular, Gold Sword yuccas (although this could be true for any yucca; it just seems that all we grow here now are the “Gold Sword” variety) completely out of place in Connecticut.

While I’m ranting, let’s take on color, shall we?

And please remember, what I like (or don’t like) doesn’t matter. I’m just posting to get folks thinking about their own ideas about color.

I remember back when I first started gardening with perennials. I think I did what most people do–I chose softer colors of blues, pinks, whites and purples. It’s easy to do. There are lots of plants in that color family and many of them bloom over a long season.

plants for the blank spaces

I still have whole gardens like that. My “hydrangea hedge” is primarily blue and pink–because let’s face it, hydrangeas don’t come in really shocking colors (at least not the ones that do well in my climate, anyway!)


But as I have gotten older I find that I like colors that are a little brighter.
I will often choose colors that are near opposites on the color wheel like yellows and purples. I also love reds and purples together.

Do not, however, ask me to put red and yellow together unless orange is also part of the combination. The red/yellow thing just reminds me too much of McDonald’s.

Habitat Garden in full bloom

In fact, while you’ll find quite a lot of yellow in my garden, I am quite particular about what I will mix it with. I only like it with certain shades of blue or purple–hydrangeas are fine, coneflowers are fine but you’ll never see me mixing it with rhododendrons, for example.

But, as I said, these are my “rules” not anyone else’s. What drives you crazy in the garden?

2 thoughts on “Color Can Be So Subjective

  1. tonytomeo June 9, 2018 / 2:30 pm

    Ha! I was just thinking of McDonald’s. I loved my nasturtiums SO much when I lived in town, but they meant that I could not put any red out there. I had no white either, just because it would have looked funny on that house. (I had a lot of white off on the side around a small atrium like patio.) Color is one of those things that I leave to the neighbors. One neighbor had me plant mixed sunflowers, and than yellow and orange gladiolus. I never wold have picked out those colors, but I am pleased that someone else did. They were rad. In the shadier redwood forest, I get to use softer colors, and both soft and bright white. I enjoy being a horticulturist, but color and style is a whole different discipline.

  2. gardendaze June 9, 2018 / 2:37 pm

    So you’re borrowing your neighbors color, instead of their landscape view. That’s a novel approach.

    I have a lot of shade too–that’s why a lot of my color is confined to my pots or one of two beds in the front with a few hours of sun.

    Wednesday you’ll see my vegetable garden–this year mostly flowers because I don’t trust the soil yet. It’s pretty riotous. I didn’t do it on purpose. I was just planting for pollinators.


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