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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

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Garden Composition in Gray, Pink, and Red.

While gray does exists in nature, sometimes it takes the magic of a camera to find it. Here is an image that I downloaded so long ago that I can no longer locate its owner for proper accreditation. It was kept in my files to share with readers because it is both a rare demonstration of the use of pink and gray in the garden and of the successful use of pink and red, in combination.

Finding gray in nature is more than just about stones, gravel and rocks. With the right illumination and camera lens, grey may be found in the bark of some trees, as well as in the foliage of some perennials. Choosing the appropriate plants to highlight grey can be a challenging undertaking for some gardeners. In the photo above, hot pink Azalea blooms look striking near the greyish bark of the trees.

For some gardeners, using red and pink together is not an option because the resulting combination may be too bold. Yet, the composition above is very pleasing to the eye. The pink of the Azalea blossoms is so strong that it cannot be overwhelmed, or made to look garish, by the red tulips. Because “garish” is a dangerous word to use in a blog that is read all over the world, it is worth mentioning that what is considered to be a desirable color combination, or an offensive one, is influenced to a large degree by culture, geography and personal preference. For example, most garden lovers believe that combining blue and yellow perennials creates magic in the garden. Others consider that combination to be insipid and would prefer to see blue flowers mixed with gold or orange ones, instead. My vote is for blue and yellow. Similarly, gardeners, like myself, who admire polite pastel color combinations, think twice before mixing red and pink in the flowerbeds while those, that derive pleasure from energetic colors, consider that combination to be beautiful.

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Reader Comments (1)

I do mix red, pink and even orange in some garden beds. I usually pick a color theme for the year, especially in my front garden and I try to stick with this pallete throughout the season.

I don't use a lot of grey, but I do see the appeal and may try to incorporate this, stachys, etc.


April 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEileen

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