I have noticed a worrying trend in my garden and I think I need to take some remedial action sooner rather than later before people start calling me Vita!
The problem is that the amount of white or very pale flowers is increasing out of all proportion to any other colour and I hadn’t even realised. Just looking through my seed packets bought for this year there is: White Cleome, White Corncockle, White Antirrhinum, White Honesty, White Foxgloves. The narcissus I have planted this year are the very pale ones and even the Camassias planted in the Autumn were white!
Why am I so perplexed by this? After all many people purposefully have white gardens. Well, I am naturally someone attracted to bright colours. I frequently wear reds, purples and I love the rich colours of late summer: the purples of Dahlias, coppers of Rudbeckias and the red of Lobelia Cardinalis. Luckily I have found some Rudbeckia seeds and also some pinky Cosmos seeds (oh but look at that I also have white Cosmos seeds!) so hopefully these will offset the purity and paleness and there are many colourful plants in the garden.
I think part of the problem is that I haven’t quite got the idea of seeing the garden as a whole sorted. I come up with plant combinations, often from a magazine or from a garden visited and make a note which I then pick up on in the winter when I am seed ordering. Many of the seeds listed above have been bought with a specific location identified so it won’t be a case of trying to find them homes- well most of them have! I need to learn to see how one area links to another so it doesn’t become predominated with one look or one colour or tone of colours.
Having written this post and thought about it I am reminded of a post that VP wrote on the BBC blog about colours in the garden. She mentions that her summer bedding last year was mainly light colours or white and she suspects that this is because she needed some coolness from the heat of the summer. I think that my inclination towards white is due to a need for calmness in my life during winter when I was ordering the seeds. I know I was pretty stressed and unhappy around then and I wonder if when choosing colours of say the antirrhinum that white sounded so much more calming than red!!
Many years ago I saw a homeopathic practitioner and one of the techniques she used was colour therapy. Depending on the combination of colours you selected she was able to identify the part of you that needed healing. I can’t remember how this worked but I do wonder what a predilection for white would signify. It really is an interesting subject which I think I might investigate further.