Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Roses Are Red — Just Not Here!

Geranium 'Orkney Cherry' with ultra
pink petals and white throat
On this occasion when millions of red roses are gifted,  I thought I'd share my aversion to pure red flowers in my Hamptons garden.  This might be a shocking admission from a plantaholic that rarely meets a flower that he doesn't fall in love with.  But for me, pure red just looks unnatural in all but the most tropical garden settings.  I also consider pure red to be too bold, stealing that the show from all of its quieter neighbors.

However, add a little blue or yellow to the pigment and my opinion changes pretty quickly.  Even a little brown tones down pure red,  allowing it to play well with others.  So in my garden, you will find various shades of pink, orange, violet-red, fuchsia, wine, brick-red, plum, magenta, etc.  Just not a pure red.

Berry-red Monarda 'Raspberry Wine'
Design experts say that when choosing colors for your interiors, look at your own wardrobe for colors that you truly love and can live with.  I think that's equally true of exteriors spaces.  If you look in my closet, you won't find one article of pure red.  So like my garden in summer, I am personally more likely today to be donning cerise than the color of the red roses in your bouquet.

Nevertheless, I wish everyone a very Happy Valentine's Day!


Gardens at Waters East said...

Jeff, Nice photos again today. Jack

Jeff, Gardener in Chief said...

Thanks Jack. Loved the colorful pics on your recent post as well. Can't wait for summer blooms!

allan becker said...

Great photos to help ignore lingering winter. Makes one think of spring.

scottweberpdx said...

I'm in total agreement...pure red is one of the few colors I just can't stand in my garden...too harsh, too brazen!

Jeff, Gardener in Chief said...

I do admit to buying my parents a red David Austin rose for their garden years ago. They loved the color and it did look well-sited among the other bold colors there. But I just can't see that color here in my garden. Once a friend brought me a mixed planter of annuals, including red geraniums. Very nice gift, but I had to replace the red geraniums with deep pink. Then it fit right in.