P. Allen Smith's Colors for the Garden

P. Allen Smith's Colors for the Garden
Creating Compelling Color Themes
Written by P. Allen Smith
Photographs by Jane Colclasure
Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers
On-Sale: February 21, 2006
Price: $32.50, Hardcover
ISBN: 1400053420
Pages: 192

Ask three people to describe the color of a room or an object and more often than not you will receive three different descriptions. Color is subjective, and how we respond to it depends on several factors - our individual tastes, the context in which the color is seen, and most important, the light in which it is viewed.

P. Allen Smith's Colors for the GardenThis diversity of aesthetics makes color a challenging design principle in the garden. But I've found that that by following some simple techniques and with a willing spirit to experiment, you can create masterpieces in your flower borders and containers.

My newest book, P. Allen Smith's Colors for the Garden: Creating Compelling Color Themes, is now available wherever books are sold. This is the book I've been eager to share because it reveals all the techniques that I use to create garden settings bursting with color.

In the first part of the book, you will find five color confidence-building ways to select a garden palette that reflects your taste and style. It begins by walking you through the process of connecting colors both inside and out, so that the interior and exterior of your home and the permanent features in your garden become the canvas upon which you begin to apply your color choices. This approach creates a color bond between your home and garden that blends them into a cohesive unit while enhancing the beauty of both.

In Part Two, you will learn how to "paint" your choice of colors into your garden landscape, from creating a garden canvas to painting bold "brush strokes? of color and texture into your garden setting.

One of my favorite sections of the book is Part three: the user-friendly plant directory that will help you choose the right plants for your garden based on their color, growing zone, and light requirements.

P. Allen Smith's Colors for the Garden
Creating Compelling Color Themes
Written by P. Allen Smith
Photographs by Jane Colclasure
Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers
On-Sale: February 21, 2006
Price: $32.50, Hardcover
ISBN: 1400053420
Pages: 192

As a thank you for visiting my website I offer you the following excerpt from my new book.

P. Allen Smith's Colors for the Garden: Creating Compelling Color Themes

"Feature a Favorite"

Coleus Tilt-a-WhirlIf you find yourself overwhelmed with the kaleidoscope of color choices, simplify the process by focusing on one element in your garden to use as a starting point. This could be a colorful piece of patio furniture, a container, or even a favorite plant. The most effective color themes spring from a dominant color that anchors the design. By choosing one key color from an object or plant as inspiration, you are less likely to add other colors that quarrel with the theme.

A colorful foliage plant that I like is 'Tilt-a-Whirl' coleus. The plant is aptly named for the way its chocolaty peach leaves with chartreuse highlights appear to whirl around the stem. By taking one leaf from this plant and carefully looking at its colors, you can build an entire color scheme. Start by focusing on the chartreuse veining and then looking for plants to echo that color. One successful combination I've found is mixing 'Tilt-a-Whirl' coleus with creeping Jenny and 'Evergold' sedge. The lime green in creeping Jenny's foliage and the yellow tones in the 'Evergold' sedge pick up the chartreuse highlights in the 'Tilt-a-Whirl' leaves.

As gardeners, we would all be better served to remember the importance of foliage when considering plant combinations-whether it is for a large garden scheme, a small garden room or even an ensemble of plants in a single container. However, this is often easier said than done. Even for the trained eye, it is the bloom of a plant that captures our attention. But when you think about it, flowers are often temporary, blooming for a few days and then gone. Kevin Doyle said it best: 'Texture and foliage keep a garden interesting through the season. Flowers are just moments of gratification.? You'll enjoy a longer lasting display of color by incorporating foliage plants into your designs.

Next time you go to a garden center, try this exercise: First, choose one dominant color for your garden plan and then select a representative flower (preferably something that has a long blooming cycle) in that color. Next, find a foliage plant that is a good color companion and put them together. With these two plants chosen, add another blooming plant and see how this looks with its companions. By looking at plants this way, you will begin to see more possibilities.

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