Jamie Jamievande@freenet.de
Fri, 23 Jan 2004 09:13:18 PST
Jamie Vande    Cologne    Germany    Zone 8

Get me going on colours and I can't stop!  I am an artist and that is exactly what it's about.  Colour and how to place it!  

Orange is often tough as, being relatively common, it is easily ignored without admiring the nuances that it can hold.  Much like citrus fruits, which we tend to consider orange, there are gradations between a navel, tangerine, clementine, kumquat or calamondine.  You just have to take a few seconds to recognise them.  Add the fact that much of what we see and consume every day has been brought to a "standard" in both colour and size, it is no surprise that many of us become jaded!  Try cutting open a papaya and just look at the shades ranging from creamsicle to coral to hot cinnabar.  The deep purple-black seeds and the golden to lemon-green skin all harmonise, giving a luscious, exotic feel.  Place it against purple passionfruits and the effect is of a Tahitian dream.

I do not grow H. fulva EUROPA, partly due to it's lack-lustre finish, but mainly due to it's sterility!  In the search for orange, one can do better, especially under the Hemerocallis!  It is, also, a wonderful colour in a thought-out setting.  Other than the typical combinations with blues, lavenders and purples, which can work very strident depending upon the nuances of the tones, such as bronzy oranges with steely blues and imperial purples, which can become hallmarks of sophistication, try moving in another direction, scarlet reds, clear tangerine, perssimon and deep bluish-green can work like molten lava!  The stems of Frittilaria persica would harminise beautifully.  For the shrill gardener, and I've done this with great success, try adding hot pinks with cardinal red and deep coral!  Extraordinary!  Just keep them away from complex greens, they are unsupportive.

Where you run into trouble is putting a clean orange next to a dusky purple or ruddy violet!  Something will look out of place!  Or burgundy next to citrus, you stop seeing the burgundy!  The light scale between the two tones is simply too great.  Probably our greatest failing as gardeners is our impulsive buying habits!  We forget to consider colour placement, telling ourselves we will "fit it in" somewhere.  This lie belongs with "the cheques in the mail!",  all too transparent.


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