The Colours of Spring

By Erna

The Cast:

According to Shakespeare, all the world’s a stage and we all play our unique parts. The same idea holds true in our own backyards, hundreds of years later. Our gardens are an eager, but empty, stage in the spring and every colour has its own personality and role to play. The colours of our garden are dynamic and lively. They’re fascinating as solo acts or playing with each other. We, as gardeners, can take advantage of their harmony and contrast to paint what we want. Our gardens can be our art – however perfect or imperfect we want to make them.

Many of us shy away from colour. With our modern world so full of off-whites, greys, and beige, it’s normal to be a little intimidated by the full saturation of our gardens. Our own backyards are a great place for a refresher on colour. Here’s how to use your own garden to celebrate vibrancy at home:

Yellow: Pure Joy

Yellow is light and bubbly, emulating joy that can’t keep a secret. It’s no wonder it is a favourite colour for so many gardeners – not to mention famous artists, like Van Gogh! Yellow adds beauty to your garden and will bring with it a sense of satisfaction and happiness. As a symmetrical beauty, like the sunflower or the happy-go-lucky glow of a lantana, yellow is warm and exciting for your garden.

When we use yellow in the garden, we throw subtlety out the window. There’s no hiding its beautiful hues, and we can’t help wanting to bring home the brightest shade we can find. We love pairing yellow with other warm plants in a container to create a harmonious image. When you’re looking at your garden as a whole, though, plan to use yellow sparingly. The places you choose to add it will add a pop of celebratory colour! Rationing your yellow will make your spotlights of joy more special without being overbearing.

Blue: Mystery

Picture an oceanic expanse, with water and sky as far as the horizon stretches. This moody scene is complete with thousands of shades and layers of blue: full of life, complexity, and mystery. In your garden, blue can be just as varied. It can be precocious and carefree, or it can draw your eye into intoxicating depths of shadows and muted tones. While the light blues of your garden are refreshing and invigorating, the darker hues take on a thick richness that your eye lingers on to take in.

We don’t think a garden is quite complete without a little bit of blue. It would hardly be fair to have a celebration of colours in your yard without paying some tribute to the sky above. Blue is a cool colour, but its range is very diverse. Whether you prefer intense deep hues, light and icy tones, or any shades in between, blue is a great choice for the part of your yard that you want to relax in. Despite its many shades, it always seems to inspire relaxation and contemplation, perfect for a little quiet at the end of a long day. Our warmer-coloured plants might call us to play and explore, but blues are what invite us to close our eyes and enjoy a moment in our own gardens.

Red: Intensity, Passion, and Danger

If yellow is unfiltered joy, red is much more focused. It is a colour that can be full of boldness and passion, or even tension and alertness. It’s a very flexible colour that can take on many different meanings, but each meaning seems to be full and intense. Red wakes up your senses and invites them to come play and adventure in your garden. You can practically feel the power when looking into a bright, red flower as it seems to be moving towards you!

We love red, but be careful with it in your garden. It’s so bold and fierce that it could easily overwhelm the rest of your colours! It’s an excellent tool to make a container really stand out. Mixing it with other warm colours, like oranges and yellow, will make it practically glow as a centrepiece!

The beauty of gardening is that you have the opportunity to explore any number of your favourite shades and plants in your garden at home. These are all intense and wonderful colours that have inspired gardeners (and artists!) before you, and they are all ready for you to bring home and play with this year.