This fall has been particularly inspiring for its color. It’s been a while since I did a post on color and this one is going to be a little bit different. I want to try and use the fall foliage of a single plant as inspiration for an early spring garden. Rather than a single hue, I’m going for a mood and a range of color. I specified this plant for a client’s garden. When I visited last week, the foliage just made me stop in my tracks. What’s more is that I have this plant in my garden and as of today it is still green!
Rather than the deep oranges, vibrant yellows and clarets we expect from fall foliage, this smokebush – Cotinus coggygria ‘Golden Spirit’ has muted tones that are just by their juxtaposition electric.
Here’s a possible palette. It’s a little bit narrow, but very, very sophisticated. The colors are complex and lend themselves to both plantings and accessories. At this point there’s no clear front runner although you could make one color dominant. So let’s go shopping via the web! All of the images – other than three I took on site – below are linked to their source (so just click them) if you’d like to explore the idea on your own.
Here’s how to translate that into a garden…for the opposite season via accessories, plants and just about anything else you could want for a lovely outdoor space.
Above the peach/salmon color dominates via garden accessories and below a pale Margarhita green. It would be easy to do this with any of the first three hues.
It takes discipline to pick one narrow range and let all others be supporting players in a garden design as our tendency is to fill gardens full of color, color, color.
Some other details that would work…
An obvious first choice would be from the wide range of Heuchera colors available. Below is ‘Key Lime Pie’, but there are abundant choices.
Bulbs are a great choice for the early spring garden and there’s still time to get some and plant them before the ground freezes.
The garden will need other details – that’s what the darker, more neutral browns are for…
Rustic twig work is best done in early spring when saplings are green…so a rusticated fence or gate is a perfect early spring garden project. If metal is more your style…salvage yards are full of reclaimed rusty fence sections…
The possibilities for the color in one small random photo to inspire an entire garden are endless. All it takes is a bit of imagination and some web shopping!