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--- Anne K Moore, February 27, 2009 ---
Photos by Anne K Moore ---

Spring arrives on the strong yellows of daffodils and forsythias.  Shortly after, Japanese magnolias open their tulip shaped pink and white blossoms.  Electric red, pink, and purple flowers cover azaleas and rhododendrons, creating pleasing dots of intense color after the icy whites and browns of winter.  Dogwoods open their white or pink flowers on horizontal branches.  

In most areas of the country, long winter nights and gray days will soon be giving way to these harbingers of spring.  Pay attention to the colors and combinations that you find pleasing in other peoples' front yards.  Horticultural copying is perfectly OK and a good way to define your own tastes.  What gives you that surprising spring-is-coming feeling?  Resolve to plant it in your yard this year.

You can find color combinations in a variety of places.  Containers, with their concentrated pallets, are a good place to spot color groupings.  Another way is to use a color wheel.  I have been trialing one that has been designed especially for gardeners.  It comes from The Color Wheel Company.  Sydney Eddison, teacher and author of the book, The Gardenerís Palette, designed The Gardenerís Color Wheel. 

Although using a color wheel often sounds daunting, this one comes with a booklet describing how to use it.  There are illustrations showing how to blend colorful plant combinations and explanations of color relationships.  The color wheel is especially helpful with arranging contrasting or harmonious mixes.  Unlike many other color wheels, this one is overflowing with tints, tones, and shades within the color spectrum.

Think this is garden knowledge overload?  Then just look at other gardenersí gardens.  Examine photographs and illustrations for ideas.  Pay attention to the combinations in the gardens on the GardenSMART programs.  Most of all do not be afraid to do your own colorful design.  There are no garden police.  What you like is right.


Show #24/1211 - Gardens In the Town of Vail

Show #24/1211 - How to Use a Color Wheel (Video)


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By Justin Hancock, Monrovia Horticultural Craftsman
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia

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