There are no lines in nature, only areas of colour, one against another.
Colour is Katarina's chosen word for this Friday over at Roses and Stuff. Most Gardeners are very aware of how colour works in their garden, and are adept at capturing it on film.
Color is what most gardeners are drawn to. We know what we like when we see it. Good garden design involves knowing how to combine colors so that the final product will be one we like. Only practice and experimentation will develop your eye for color and recognise what combinations you like in your garden. A good way to start is by studying the color wheel used in art.
The colour wheel is a helpful visual guide for using colour. Sections of colour which are opposite one another are said to be complementary. Sections that are next to each other are said to be harmonious.
Complementary colours are often thought of as ‘opposites’ – red/green – orange/blue – yellow/purple. If these complementary elements are introduced into a photograph it communicates a strong colour statement, such as this deep red dahlia contrasting with the green foliage.
The late Christopher Lloyd of Great Dixter had a reputation for using challenging colour combinations.
He said "We do not all want to float endlessly among silvers, greys and tender pinks among the nicotiana-laden ambient of a summer's gloaming. Some prefer a bright, brash midday glare with plenty of stuffing"
One of his favourite combinations was the shocking pink Nerine x bowdenii with lemon Limonium sinuatum. Pink and yellow? Not for me I think...
Neither am I very keen on yellow and lilacy shades. Think Rosemary Verey's Laburnum arch over the lavender or is it alliums and you'll know what I mean...
However I did like the colour contrast at this garden. I think the cream may soften it.
Harmonious colours are those which sit next to or near each other on the colour wheel. When these are used together in the same photo, they can inspire a feeling of peace and calm. This is especially true of blues with purples, greens with blues. Here's a couple of examples.
This orange flower has a real zing to it. But the colour is more complex than it might first appear. The subtleties and range of shades become apparent when the photograph is looked at more closely. Most people can distinguish many different colours. Would you believe that women are said to be better at this than men! But I'm sure practice improves the ability to pick up the more subtle tones.
And just to show what a contrary person I am, forget what I said about not liking pink and yellow together. It depends on the pink. A nauseatingly bubble-gum pink with yellow would be hard to take in my book. But the deep pink of this paeony is vibrant and beautiful.
Thanks to Katerina at Roses and Stuff for hosting Blooming Friday. Why not pop over there and have a look....