Posts Tagged ‘color’

Not-So-Mellow Yellow

Baptisia sphaerocarpa 'Screaming Yellow' with Nepeta 'Walker's Low', Cornus sericea 'Silver and Gold', and Salvia 'Caradonna'

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

In The Softer Side of Yellow, I trotted out some images of what I thought were relatively tasteful combinations of yellow with green, yellow with yellow, and yellow with blue. As I was choosing those pictures, I also found some combinations that showed a bit more zip, so I figured I’d put those in a separate group. This combination, featuring ‘Screaming Yellow’ false indigo (Baptisia sphaerocarpa) could have gone either way: Paired with the ‘Walker’s Low’ catmint (Nepeta), the effect is rather soft, but the intense purple-blue of the ‘Caradonna’ salvia in the back saves it from being too sweet. Can you imagine this grouping without the catmint? That would definitely be zippy.

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The Softer Side of Yellow

Arc borders at Hayefield

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

Of all the color combinations in my garden, yellow with green is one of my favorites. Built around a long row of golden elderberry (Sambucus nigra ‘Aurea’), the curved borders that evolved along my driveway turned out to be a great place indulge in all sorts of yellow flowers and foliage. It wasn’t until months later, when I took the picture at the top of this post, that I realized the excellent color echo of the road sign in the background. The strong yellow of the ‘Zagreb’ coreopsis in the foreground is almost a perfect match, though I think rudbeckias would be even better.

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Purple Prose – Part 3

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' with Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra' and Trifolium rubensPurple foliage lends itself so well to high-contrast plant pairings that it seems almost a waste to try it in quieter combinations. In my garden, this usually happens only by accident: The purple foliage is there waiting for the bright flowers to do their thing, and it ends up looking good with another leafy partner. Well, I’m inclined to enjoy beauty where I find it, and these unplanned pleasures often delight me more than my carefully considered pairings.

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Purple Prose – Part 2

Clematis seedling with Rosa glauca

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

Every few months, I start a new list of garden projects I’d like to try. It would be better if I’d keep just one running list, because the many small bits of paper scattered over my desk get used as bookmarks or coasters or end up getting filed with other papers, and I lose track of them. When I do run across an old list, it’s fun to read it over and see what I’d planned and what (if anything) I’ve accomplished. One project that’s appeared on quite a few of my lists is making a black-and-white garden.

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Purple Prose – Part 1

Pseuderanthemum atropurpureum 'Nigrum' with Solenostemon cv., Musa zebrina, Solenostemon (coleus) 'Sedona', and Euphorbia cotinifolia

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

If chartreuse gets the distinction of “the new neutral,” then dare we describe purple foliage as the horticultural equivalent of the little black dress? Well, in my reality, work boots and a boonie hat are the perfect accessories for any outfit, so I’m on thin ice making fashion-related analogies. But I think I have a grasp of the theoretical concept of the LBD, as being perfect for almost any occasion because you can dress it up for drama or leave it unadorned for an effect of understated elegance. And if that’s right, then I’d say that those qualities definitely apply to purple foliage (like that of Pseuderanthemum atropurpureum ‘Rubrum’, above) as well.

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Dark and Light – Part 3

Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' with Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing'

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

I promise this is the last post on burgundy and gold – for a while, anyway. (You can find the previous posts in Part 1 and Part 2.) For this one, I’ve pulled a few perennial-based combos. Above is a late-summer view of one of my favorite pairings in what passes for shade in my tree-less garden: golden Hakone grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’) with the near-black foliage of ‘Ravenswing’ cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris). It’s pretty high-contrast for most of the growing season, but as fall approaches, the grass starts taking on pinkish tinges that softens the effect a bit.

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Dark and Light – Part 2

Sambucus nigra 'Aurea' and Pennisetum glaucum 'Purple Majesty' with Mirabilis jalapa 'Limelight' and Basil 'Osmin'

Text and photos ©Nancy J. Ondra

Continuing on the burgundy-and-gold theme in honor of this month’s Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop, I offer up some more high-contrast combinations from my front garden, focusing mostly on annuals and tender perennials. (For the first part of this series, see Dark and Light – Part 1.)

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