I used to fall all over myself when I saw a yellow or orange-y flower in a mail order plant catalog. I would ooh and ahh for a while and then order it. I’m a fool for marigolds and zinnias of a certain color, and don’t get me started about tomatoes and peppers on the vine in their yellows, oranges, and tomato or pepper reds…
Well, in the past few years, I’ve been showing the catalog pictures to DH and he invariably picks the cooler colored beauties. Especially violets, purples, pale blues… And guess what I have found? Buying those “washed out” colors for him has given me a whole new appreciation for a garden of cool shades. First of all, unlike my yellows and oranges of yore, they don’t clash with each other. And don’t get me started on the difficulty of shades of “beige” and “cream” to mix into hot colors — they don’t.
Until we see them bloom in the garden, there’s no telling if they will blend in or just look funny, or worse, muddy or washed out.
The cool colors blend beautifully together. I don’t have to worry what the bloom color will be in our yard, whatever it is, it fits wonderfully. So now our path garden — our biggest sunny perennial border — is mostly cool colors throughout the three seasons Zone 7a or b allows us. I used to have to worry about what would come into bloom before another something was done blooming, and try to plant it where it wouldn’t clash.
Especially all the warm tones of bearded iris, with their long bloom times, and then when day lily season began…. Well, you know what I’m talking about, I’m sure. Now I don’t have to worry. As long as I stick with shades from magenta and fuschia through the purples, blues and into the whites, they all fit.
Have to remember when I see a drop-dead red rose or daylily to put it somewhere else than the path garden.
Sometimes a little yellow looks great, but it can quickly overpower the cool colors as I found out this year, so I have to remember to replant the black eyed susans out of the path garden this fall.
They are a bit of plant thugs anyway, growing in 2 years what others take 5 or more to achieve, so they will replant and flourish where ever a spot of color is needed, just not in the cool colored path garden.
So even though I don’t really plan as carefully as I should on what to plant where (remember that we all experiment in some ways trying to see if something beautiful in photo form will flourish in our spot of earth), I now have a path garden color scheme to follow. God bless you, DH!