Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gardening? I'm on it!

pimiento peppers with nasturtiums
I thought I would skip this week's discussion of The Hidden Art of Homemaking at Ordo Amoris, because what on earth -- or about growing things in the earth -- could I possibly say, that I haven't said in my 115 blog posts that already have the tag "garden"?

But this chapter comes in springtime when it's hard not to talk about gardening. I'd rather be in the garden doing it, but what do you know, it's raining as I begin this ramble. And I happened to run across a couple of other blog posts as reminders that I haven't covered every aspect of the subject.

kale with Mexican bush sage
The spiritual aspects of gardening are well treated by Vigen Guroian whose book is excerpted in  this blog. But I have a hard time making myself read about gardens or gardening, and if I wanted to convince a non-gardener to give it a try, I would just have them work in my garden with me a few times, and hope that they might by osmosis come to see the fun to be had.

If you don't have a yard, as Edith says you can have a pot of something, and if you don't want that, you can grow some sprouts on your kitchen counter. There are so many kinds of sprouting seeds available that you can grow a tasty and gorgeous salad in a week or so.

I do love to visit other people's gardens and even look at pictures of my own yards of yesteryear, so I looked long enough at this Garden Rant post to see that it was about the gardener's dismay when he realized that he had planted a dreadfully monochromatic and inartistic design.

His problem is the flip side of what I am careful about, the planting of clashing colors. What? you say, echoing my husband, don't all the colors go together, as in God's creation? It doesn't seem to work that way in my gardens. Magenta flowers have caused me problems in the past - they don't look nice with some of the red flowers nearby.

Once a bunch of bright red-orange flowers pretty much spoiled the look of my pale yellow and pale pink roses when they sprouted up in between, while the lavender bush in the same spot blended in nicely. So, I try to avoid mismatches and matchy-matchy. Most of the pictures I'm posting here are of nice contrasts in my own garden, but the one below is from our friends' neglected beach cottage yard. It's surprising how glorious these bright and wild colors look together. In foggy coastal areas it seems that whatever flowers you have are a welcome brightness, and they always steal the show by contrast with the white or grey skies.

Click on this scene so you can see it really really big!



Here's a much quieter scene: Greyish Lambs Ears make a soft contrast to almost any bright color, as with these pincushion flowers.
 


And even the magenta rhododendron is nice with blue campanula. I have learned to think of my garden beds as individual paintings, each with its own color scheme that may change somewhat with the seasons. Some have magenta, while some on the other side of the yard have red.
unusual California poppy with Hot Lips salvia


Either color can go with yellow or orange or blue...


It's fun creating landscapes, if you don't mind surprises, and  w - a - i - t - i - n - g  for things to grow and bloom, and sometimes having to re-do your design or be happy with a missing part that died. If you take pictures or actually take paints to paper and save an image of way your plants' colors and textures have miraculously blended to become Beautiful, you can remember and enjoy your past gardens for years to come.

7 comments:

Cindy Rollins said...

Vigen!! I have not read his book on gardening and now I feel it will be THE book of the summer. Thanks for the reminder.

M.K. said...

I love to look at it all, although I'm no good at gardening in the heat :( Nasturtium leaves are so lovely, and the blossoms too. Dusty Miller is such an easy, complementing plant. Isn't it pretty in the arrangement you've made? The beach photo, with that fuschia? Bougainvillea? Whatever it is -- wow!! I understand what you mean about other bright flowers overpowering a pale rose. It's the same with dressing ourselves. A beautiful lavender blouse would be dwarfed by a loud red blazer, but with the right pale sweater? So much better :) GJ, this is DEFINITELY YOUR chapter!!

Heather said...

Gorgeous colors!

Mystie said...

What beautiful flower beds! Very inspiring. :)

Anastasia said...

Your garden pictures are so beautiful! I know very very little about gardening, but it has been weighing on me that our front yard is so unkempt. I would like to attempt some very easy, drought tolerant natives in the two little beds out there, I may have to pick your brain for some starting out advice!

wayside wanderer said...

I really enjoy your gardening posts and especially your pictures. I know I've said it before but you grow such different things where you are. I am always learning something new here.

Dana in Georgia said...

enjoyed the stroll through your garden ~