Saturated Summer Color

How people respond to color is so individual.  This person will like pastels only, that  person can’t get enough red, yellow and fuchsia.  I myself tried hard for a while to warm up to white-but without much success. Its chilly.  I myself prefer saturated and intense colors-no matter what they might be.


But I think the key aspect to designing with color is to look carefully at the relationship of one color to another.  The black/purple oxalis and alternanthera in this combination makes the orange seem even more intensely orange.  The green of variagated helicrysum is cooly contrasting.


The pink leaning towards violet in this trailing verbena is subtly repeated in the phormium and the undersides of the heuchera leaf. I think pairing foliage that has color additional to green is hard to do.  The green leaf of this vebena is so small, that it does not provide a jarring departure from the colors of the foliages.

51The burnt orange/carmine and chartreuse leaf of the coleus “Freckles” is a study in color contrast in and of itself.  The orange impatiens does a good job of the harmony for this tune.

41Every year I grow nicotiana alata lime. The color of the flower takes on a different aura, when paired with other colors.  With other greens the flowers are soft and subtle.  A little pale carmine in the coleus leaf, and pilea, is an echo, not a trumpet blast.


Yellow lights up a shady spot.  For that reason, I like yellow begonias, lime irisine, wild lime coleus, and Sum and Substance hosta.  Its the relationship of the yellow to the shade that creates the color interest. The shady green here is so rich looking.

7I am having a carmine and orange season, and enjoying it immensely.  Carmine alone sometimes has the effect of setting one’s teeth on edge; the addition of the orange makes for a very warm pleasing glow.  When I get home in the evening, the overcast light makes all the color appear even more saturated.  The design idea here-figure out what time of day you will be in your garden, or what time of day you best like to be in your garden.  You’ll have an idea of what the light will be;  choose your color accordingly.


8I like here the relationship of the green to the orange.  Zesty!

9Lime and carmine together I simply find appealing-all understanding of the science of color aside. The color of  live flowers or plants-they call this a special kind of color-living color. I wouldn’t be without it.


  1. These flowers are so beautiful. The colors just grab you. Your arrangements in your latest post were spectacular! I am so glad I got to see them.

  2. Susie Golden says

    It truly was an unreal garden tour….people just loved what they came out to see!!!!of Thanks to you that all of your clients do all have a passion for flowers, beautiful pots, their indivdual landscapes… but your guidance and opinion is needed and thank-you for being there to give us gardeners that boost of confidence! Your direction, help and encouragement will never go unappreciated…we hope that we made you proud because you have done us all proud!!! All my love as usual, ~Susie

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