Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pink For Sissies?

When I was young (yea, I know), only girls wore pink.  It's so much nicer now that everyone embraces such a beautiful color for clothes, paint, and in the garden.

Pink can be soft, shocking, soothing, lively, bright, pale, an accent, or a neutral.  You get the picture - it can be everything!

A fruit tree blooming in the spring, with dark to light pink blossoms, can be one of the most welcome sights after a long hard winter.  My crab apple (above) simply glows on a warm spring day.  Even if you never have plans to use the fruit from your trees, one planted as an accent really puts a punch in the landscape.  There are the full sized (standards), dwarfs, weeping, non fruit bearing and those pruned to espaliers.

Daylilies have pink varieties that span the entire descriptive process.  They are an example of the color wheel's many varieties and combinations.  Pinks may have overtones of purple or orange.  It may lean towards red or white. 

Many flowers may have subtle or strong accents of other colors.  They can blend (as in rose and pale pink) or they can contrast (as in yellow and pink).  These accent colors can pull a grouping of different pinks together with other colors or they can bring in a color that enhances.  For instance, dark purple will make a pale pink more visible.

Annuals have many beautiful pink colors, such as:  Zinnias, inpatients, petunias, nasturtiums and the list is almost endless.

The color of surrounding leaves can make a pink stand out or add to the existing color theme.  The dark maroon leaves of the above crab apple provides a backdrop for the pink blossoms.  Dark green evergreen shrubs behind pink inpatients allows the inpatients to steal the show.

Nature is full of pink colors (vines, bushes, trees, annuals, perennials, bi annuals, spring flowering bulbs, wildflowers, and on).  For that matter, the setting sun often throws pinks on the surrounding clouds. 

Our neighbors to the West and the Southern Americas have always embraced pinks - paint on their stucco homes, clothes, furnishings and allowing vines of shocking pink on every available structure.  Although we Midwesterners may still tend to be more reserved about the use of the bright colors, the introduction of pink is a sure sign we're embracing nature's pink possibilities.  Nature has always embraced pink - we just needed to realize that beauty, too. 

"All gardeners live in beautiful places because they make them so."
- Joseph Joubert, French essayist, 1754-1824

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