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?


  1. Wow, you sure are organized. I guess I usually start with a plant that catches my eye, then build around that...adding other plants until it's too hodgepodge and then I start moving things. Not the best plan, but it works until I start getting more organized.

  2. fabulous!! love all the boards....

  3. Hi VW, what a clever idea for planning the garden - color collage. They are art pieces in themselves. You've given me an idea for my notecards - to collage my favorite roses and place them on a notecard for friends and families to send to others. I do like receiving your blogs. Always interesting and clever and upbeat.
    I'm not doing a good job on my garden blog. Seems too busy with life and other events especially now with all the garden events going on. I am having a charity garden tour in my garden, going to rose photo contests which all happen during Spring and loads of time in the garden, loving the garden time by the way.

  4. I love your color scheme in the first grouping...very feminine. I have a Master Gardener friend who has an all white & green garden...very nice.

  5. Hi VW,

    Again, I'm looking forward to seeing the results of your scrapbooking :)
    I always tend to err towards blues and purples but am finding myself also inserting some orange, yellow and reds in places to add some contrast to the garden. I stumbled across a particularly amazing combination of a reddish pink persicaria and yellow/orange of Helenium... To my surprise I loved the combo! So who knows, maybe I will be a warm colour person...

  6. What a clever way to preview color schemes. I never would have chosen to put the colors in the top collage together, but they look marvelous! -Jean


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