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  • Gail Jacobson

Ain't Nature Grand?

I highly recommend an outing to the magnificent Springwood Gardens in Jordan, Minnesota. While visiting last week and touring the 150 acres (yes, that's right!) of daylilies, phlox, and hostas, I was awed by the power of color, It seems trite to call it a spiritual experience, but anything less wouldn't fully describe it. As my brain see-sawed between the wide vistas and the stunning, individual blooms, I couldn't help but think about what I know and what I could learn about color harmonies in nature. The photos below could illustrate an entire class in color theory!


Here's a "Cliff Notes" version of color harmonies. I invite you to read my 2020 blog on color theory to expand these definitions. For now, see if you can recognize them in the blooms below:

  1. Monochromatic: one Hue (yellow, blue, red, etc.), in various degrees of intensity (brightness) and contrast (light against dark)

  2. Analagous: Two adjacent hues on the color wheel and the incremental steps between them, in various degrees of intensity and value. Yellow to orange is one analagous range; yellow to green is another.

  3. Complementary or Split Complimentary: Two hues directly opposite one another on the color wheel, or one hue and the hues directly to the right and left of it's opposite, in various degrees of intensity and value. The most common complimentary pairs are red and green; blue and orange; yellow and purple.



Technical terms aside, color is joy! Which are you drawn to? What would you like in your garden (or in your home?), and what does that express about you? And finally, ain't nature grand?

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