March 4, 2013
Scrapgardening or Gardenbooking or Something
While planning color schemes for the different garden areas in my backyard, I gave in to my occasional need to cut and paste - well, use sticky tabs - like my kids do in elementary school. Putting together a collage of flowers and foliage enables me to visualize how a future garden will appear. The collage above shows the colors I'm going to include in my main sunny perennial bed in the northwest corner of the backyard. I was planning to do a classic garden in shades of pink and blue-violet, but found myself fascinated with the effect when I added pops of rosy-orange (including the leaves of 'Southern Comfort' heuchera) and deep notes of maroon-black (including the 'Royal Raindrops' crabapples that grow behind this area and 'Purple Petticoats' heuchera whose leaves won an award for best winter hardiness). Actually the rosy-orange addition came about because I gave in and ordered a 'Lady of Shallot' english rose and needed a place to put it. My gardens are definitely plant-driven designs.
This collage shows the colors and plants I'll be using in the northeast corner of the backyard. It's a pastel version of primary colors, with grey-blue, soft yellow and pink. There's also some lime green for a bit of a twist. I'm excited that a yellow 'Bartzella' intersectional peony would fit perfectly here along with the pink 'Keiko' peony I already have. I've been wanting one for years but haven't known where to place it. As with the main sunny garden, colored foliage will help carry the colors throughout the season. Above you can see pink 'Berry Smoothie' and 'Lime Rickey' heuchera leaves.
Obviously the photos above make up a white garden that will have both sunny and shady parts. I love the elegance of an all-white scheme but don't have the self restraint to give up color in the whole yard. The middle section of the eastern part of the yard will be planted in white. I think I can fit the giant leaves of Astilboides tabularis (middle right of the collage) in this area. Again, it's fun to have something unexpected or unusual mixed into the old favorites that make up the bulk of my gardens.
The southeast part of the backyard will be planted in true blues and lavender-pink shades as shown above. This area used to be the forgotten corner of the yard, but our new living room window looks out in this direction and makes it easy to enjoy. Creating distinct color schemes in different areas of the yard allows me to organize my plants while exploring how different colors work together. Do you have a favorite color scheme?