African Garden + work

Color in the Garden

February's topic for Garden Bloggers' Design Workshop is Color in the Garden. When I first started considering the topic, I thought about the colors of flowers in my garden. But then I realized that there was a color theme going on in the woodland garden, like a running base line in a musical composition, and the unifying color was a surprise to me: chartreuse.
I've read garden design books that have opined that chartreuse should be used sparingly in a garden, and only as a focal point. I've also read that combining chartreuse and purple is so 90s, and just should not be done. I say, thanks for your opinions, but I do things my own way. My garden is not for public consumption, it will never win any design awards. Squirrelhaven exists for one reason only - it makes me happy. If I like the look of chartreuse foliage liberally sprinkled throughout the garden, then it achieves its purpose.

I have not always liked chartreuse. In fact, I always disliked my birthstone, the peridot, because of the color. However, over the last 10 years, the color has grown on me, probably because it combines so well with the colors to which I have always been drawn.

The first, and most obvious combination, is chartreuse and green.

It is not as cold an effect as the harsh contrast of white and green variegation.

A great combination is, yes, purple and chartreuse. As complementary colors, together they shine.

All the various tints and shades of purple combine well with chartreuse.

Chartreuse is the perfect foil for dark purple foliage; without the strong contrast, the purple foliage fades into the background resulting in a black hole in the garden.
Blue and chartreuse are a less dramatic combination.

Although, as the above photo shows, pink does combine with chartreuse, I prefer the darker pinks with it, such as the pink of this Geranium maculatum:

and the pink of this Astrantia.

My current favorite combination with chartreuse is crimson.

The lesson I've learned from using chartreuse is that it looks best in shady areas in combination with strong tints and shades. And how does it combine with orange? I don't know - I don't do orange.

(Plants from top: Campanula 'Dickson's Gold with petals of Malus 'Prairiefire;' Heptacodium miconiodes with Hosta and Aquilegia vulgaris 'Woodside Strain'; Hosta 'Winfield Gold'; Astrantia and Hosta; Aquilegia vulgaris seedling with Hosta 'June'; Cotinus cogygria 'Nordine' with Lobelia 'Monet Moment,' Heuchera 'Lime Rickey,' and Alchemilla mollis; Aquilegia vulgaris seedling, Uvularia perfoliata, and Viola labradorica; Campanula 'Dickson's Gold'; 'Woodside Blue' Aquilegia seedling; Phlox divaricata 'Clouds of Perfume' with Dicentra 'Zestful'; selected Geranium maculatum seedling with Heuchera 'Lime Rickey' and Labrador Violet; Astrantia 'Claret'; Heuchera 'Hollywood' with Hakonechloa 'Aureola.')

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Color in the Garden + work