Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Blues in the Garden

When friends and relatives visit the garden they often ask if I have begun to paint again. My husband is generally the first to say, She has been painting for years now, just not on canvas, but in the garden.

It has been my canvas for the past ten years or more, and although quite large in comparison to a 36" x 48" painting, the principals of a good piece are similar. It is a composition of elements that work together: color and those values and hues; space, shapes and texture, which together offer contrast, balance and harmony, rhythm, movement, and repetition.

There is great range in our garden's palette of color, but one of my favorite colors and variations of that is blue. The blues in the garden, the combinations and contrasts, pose striking possibilities.

Campanula lactiflora 'Pritchard's Variety' with its clumping bell-shaped flowers love the brightness of a sunny day as well as its companion poppies and lilies, while I hasten toward the shade where I will find the large tubular bell-like flowers of Campanula latifolia 'Brantwood' standing tall and outstretched beneath the Magnolia stellata.

What would a garden be without a focal point of the magnificent Delphinium stating its presence?

A near true blue and flowering from late May through July is this favorite Geranium 'Johnson's Blue', as seen in the dappled sunlight.

Accompanying the Alstroemeria (Peruvian lilies), an outstanding favorite is Salvia patens (or Gentian sage), an intense royal blue and an unusual sage in that it grows from tuberous roots.

The Queen of Herbs, true lavender, is throughout our garden, and as you walk along the paths its fragrance wafts throughout the air should happen to brush against it.

Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote Blue' happens to be my favorite as well as that of the Painter Lady.

This canvas is one that lifts my spirit and senses at every turn.