A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Color My World

The Display Gardens at Rutgers Gardens are normally a riot of color. Formal in layout but informally planted, each bed is tended by a different gardener. In some cases, the beds are divided up amongst several gardeners. Their mandate is to interpret a theme using mainly annual flowers not more than three feet high. The result is a kaleidoscope of shape and color.

The gardens will have a new look this year. Rather than a theme, the beds will be solid blocks of color. I’ve been excited about this since it was announced at the Holiday Party last year. I’ve had color gardens at home for several years.

The Head Hatter and I attended a Master Gardener Executive Committee meeting today and afterwards, she gave me a preview of the color assignments for each bed. Mine will have two colors, yellow and pink.

Leafing through my stack of catalogs, I’m discovering that choosing the flowers is more difficult than I anticipated. I don’t want to just plant anything that strikes my fancy as I do at home. This bed will be seen by many people. I need to consider both the flower shapes and heights to lend interest to the monotones. The shades of pink and yellow have to be carefully matched.

I find myself considering flowers that I don’t normally grow. Celosia, statice, lavatera. Another idea I am toying with is matching flowers, i.e. yellow zinnias on the yellow side and pink zinnias on the pink side. And then there is the question of which seeds to wintersow.

This bed is more challenging than I thought it would be. Which means more fun!


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