Monday, April 18, 2011
Color in the Garden: A Spring Panoply
As glorious as those aforementioned flowers are, I think gardeners need not be so limited in their imaginations and experiments. I like to treat color in forms other than flowers, and in hues richer than pastels.
My springtime rear garden--a mix of shade and part-shade beds--illustrates the diversity of spring color. And foliage is the primary mode of underscoring the depth of the garden experience even in the early to mid spring period.
The Mountain Fire Pieris japonicas, still dripping with strands of diminutive white bell-shaped flowers, offer new growth of deep, vibrant red, while the Bonfire Euphorbia contrasts nicely with the lime-green Sum and Substance Hostas, and the blue-gray hues of the Cobalt-blue bearded iris leaves. The Bonfire Euphorbia, by the way, offers dramatic clumps of yellow flowers in spring--and those, I think will provide a nice parallel to the bright golden single-petaled flowers of Kerria japonica.
And the Obsidian Heuchera pulls out the salmon undertones in the new growth of the Hakuro-nishiki Dappled Willow.
Though one color in particular, of all of the colors in my spring garden, stands out: orange.
No, it is not the orange of my prized Orange Marmalade Hosta.
No, it is the brilliant sheen of the orange Gramsci-cat. He turns his back to me, frustrated, as he awaits my departure so that he may once again knock over the cage that protects the very expensive, and very slow-growing, Hakone Japanese forest grass. The boy has expensive taste to be sure...