Sunday, September 1, 2013

Perky Color Combo's In the Garden

     When we were old enough to have chores and responsibilities, "yard work" was very often one of my family's weekend events.  Some how my younger brother always and I mean ALWAYS weaseled his way out of work.  So it would end up being my Mom and I doing the landscape while my Dad mowed the grass.  Then when my sister was big enough to help out, I was so happy to have a buddy, but she too would end up doing such a half-hearted job that my Mom would turn her loose.  So yup, it was just me again.  UGH!  No matter my lament, my Mom always had a way of putting a different perspective on it, "this will make you a better person" or "you never know what you will gain from this" or "the sooner we finish the sooner you can go play."   Phewy I say!
My Mom and sister creating a new plant bed in our Miami front yard
You can see who is working ya sis!  You should see my sister garden in Atlanta now, wow!
I think this was around 1988.
      In my opinion, the real fun stuff was when we created new sections of our half acre yard...a vegetable garden here, fruit trees there, gardenias here, palms there, a chicken coop here, a butterfly garden there, etc.  We would come back from the Homestead nurseries with so many cool plants.  I would quickly start putting these weird combinations of plants together in their newly appointed locations.  Of course in my mind thinking, well that's where they should go and Mom will be so proud I laid them out for her.  Well, stand me corrected!  I can still hear my Mom saying, "what are you doing, those don't go together."  My standard reply, "why not?" and her reply, "well because that's not how I want them."  She would then show me how she envisioned what we were to be working on.  And this was coming from a very liberal free spirited creative thinking woman, who knew.  Though now that I am older, I realize how important it was for her personal style to be translated into how she liked her garden to grow.  Now that I have my own garden, boy that sentiment couldn't be more true.  Just like fine art, gardens and landscapes can be an extension of one's unique ideas and personality.

     So this post is all about crazy color combinations in the landscape.  We are talking about cool contrasting colors, textures, shapes, sizes and variations.  I am sure you have passed by a landscape that made your head turn and say, "wow, did you see that!?!"  Yup, that's what I'm talking about friends!  So here are a few of some of my favorites.  I sure you will see a theme here of the color combinations I tend to gravitate towards, hee hee.  Purples, chartreuse, pinks, yellows, orange and blues.
Wow, chartreuse, red and purples - ferns, coleus and sweet potato all in one window box!
Not sure who to credit this super saturated purple & red flower
bed to but it's really incredible.
Yes bromeliad's can give you a kick of color, just check out this Miami median.
Another amazing little landscape using the wall color & lighting as well...kudos to the designer!
This lantana 'confetti' is an all-in-one knock 
out of color...just add purple, lol.
Alternanthera 'red threads' in my front yard
before mulch.  That will be for another post to come.
In the middle is a Jamaican croton 'tricolor' and blue daze around the outside.
Yellow, magenta, white and purple set this landscape off in Weston, FL.
Magenta penta's and caladium 'moonlight' is sure to impress.
I just love this plant called irsine/bloodleaf, I have
used it on three of our latest landscapes!
Now put the bloodleaf with this incredible looking
sedum and you've got a striking pair!
Chartreuse coleus, purple Persian shield and red/green coleus.
     Of course there are all kinds of plants that have a multitude of colors in their leaves like crotons, coleus, variegated plants, caladiums, succulents, cordylines, alternantheras and dracenas.  Then pair them with flowering plants and wow what a combo you will have.  Check out The Graceful Gardener's blog for some absolutely amazing color combinations in the landscape as well as in her beautiful container's....stunning!
My jaw hit the floor when I saw this tradeshow exhibit in about creative!
Wish I knew who to give credit to for this...anyone know?
What a happy looking front yard saying "welcome home"!
     No matter where you live or what your cold hardy zone is, there will always be colorful plants you can use to create your own unique and eye catching garden.  Just let nature guide your way and you might be surprised at what you find that's native and colorful in your region.  Come to think of it, our front yard island area needs a redo in some really colorful wild plants...hmmm maybe another post.

Wishing you all a very happy Labor Day, so enjoy your day off y'all!
Happy Gardening and Best Wishes,

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