I've always thought about gardening as painting with plants. That started with my very first garden which I intended to be an all white garden. I was timid about color, and so decided to eliminate that one aspect of garden design completely. To my surprise, I found that whites could clash.
After that I decided to have fun with color, experimenting with things like all foliage gardens ? no flowers but tons of color. Or trying to make a garden of all black and white. I finally wrenched myself out of the mode of playing it safe with misty pastels and began to use bright, primary colors and bolder contrasts. Most challenging of all was creating a garden that would look colorful as I gazed out the window at a foot of freshly fallen snow.
Using color in the garden can be an adventure. It's definitely an exercise in creativity. It not only affects the impression your garden creates on others, but can influence how you feel in it. Some gardens create the impression of coolness, others of bright, tropical heat.
I hope these chapters on using color in the garden will inspire you to try a bit of painting with plants. It's the most forgiving canvas you will ever have, since you can change in at will. It's also one of the most absorbing.
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