Color Sense

If you’ve read any of my prior posts on color, you know that color means a lot to me. Invariably someone, at sometime in my life, has commented on the sense of color I seem to possess. While it might not be a rare quality – to have a heightened sense of color – it is something not everyone has as an attribute in their arsenal of traits. Take my husband, for instance. He is colorblind. I cannot imagine going through life like that! You can read more about our early years together and how color blindness still affects him today, professionally,  in this earlier post. As we age together, my sense of color and intuitive detection of tonal variations has not diminished. His color blindness, on the other hand, seems worse than when we were younger.

Now, I seem to have to alert him to the ripening red fruit and even the changes in foliage from green to brown on our fruit trees when an insect invader has visited our orchard. As you might guess, he has red-green color blindness.

As I wrote earlier, I seem to have a lifelong love affair with color. Color influences much of my artistic endeavors in jewelry-making, as well as my garden plantings, colors I choose for paint, and I would have to say, even my wardrobe choices and creative writing such as color poems. Today was not unusual when I decided to do some garden work, enabling me to get the last of a group of mums I purchased in the ground.  But, then, as I was working, I noticed that I had selected many plants that were burgundy or had burgundy accents this year.  The most eye-catching is the coleus. There is a large burgundy coleus of unknown variety in one of my large pots on our sidewalk. It paired with a spike accent and the barberry ‘fireball’ that was next to it, all of similar tones.

Had I known this coleus would do so well in such a sunny spot, I would have bought more of it. The plant, along with a few others you will see in this post, was purchased from a young student who started a greenhouse business in a neighboring town! The plants have been healthy and phenomenal growers all season. You can be sure I will be pre-ordering plants, not just buying what I can get next year! I want much more of the same!

I used some other coleus, purchased late in the spring season – well into early June – and these have also performed well and paired with tropical Lantana (grown as an annual here), in a sunny yellow. The colors are vibrant and compliment each other well.





There was a third type of coleus purchased as well with more pink than burgundy but still went well with the surrounding plants.


One of the plants this paired well with was a geranium planted just beyond these pots in the border of our front bed. The geraniums were also purchased from our young greenhouse entrepreneur.  Can you see the touch of burgundy in the center of the geranium leaves? The variegation is stunning. Again, next spring I’ll be ordering these, in advance of the sale.


The mum’s that were left were burgundy in color. You might have already guessed that the other predominant color in my garden beds this year was yellow. A fall mum called ‘Mila’ was the burgundy color I chose to compliment the yellow. I took three of them in this deep rich crimson – burgundy and surrounded the black-eyed Susan’s near where we had a coach light and a spring clematis bloomed, but has now died back. It’s a great eye-catching contrast and will be more so, as the mum grows.


Now, I am ready for some more plants. I had promised my husband that I would get what I had in the ground before I bought more. I made good on the promise. But, I have already eyed some more mums to purchase this week.  I love the colors of Chrysanthemum’s in the fall. The deep, vibrant colors, like my affinity for burgundy this year, add some instant life to the yard as it begins to slow down and accommodate to our shorter and cooler days of fall.

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