Turquoise 15-5519

I just got round to noting Pantone's color of the year for 2010 - Turquoise 15-5519. My first garden related thought about the color was- Kyles' pot. Kyle, an artist friend living in Rhode Island that I visited while on vacation this year had the most beautiful collection of ceramic pots dotted all round her house all of which I photographed badly- they were all blurry except this one- the large turquoise planter she had strategically placed in front of her orange front door. Her painterly eye coordinated an eclectic mix of plants with a palette that worked particularly well, lit by the evening sun.

I like the implications of this color for garden inspiration because it suggests ideas for spaces adjacent to the garden and those indeterminate spaces between the inside and outside- turquoise planters on porches, a painted or tiled wall, a courtyard, outdoor furniture and also using a focal color accent. I also like that it suggests more exotic locations- Chinese ceramics, Moroccan tiles, Caribbean Shutters.

Flower colors that complement would be tomato reds, oranges through to yellows. Wouldn't currant tomatoes and swiss chard and nasturtiums look yummy in a turquoise pot. Foliage with a blue cast like succulents would work well and I'm really liking how that black coleus looks in the photo.

Verbena Notes

I love Verbena Bonariensis. I love the lanky stilt stalks - see how they catch the evening September light here ( taken at the NYBG ). I tried last year with seed sown directly into the beds. Nothing showed up. I had them in my London garden and they were phenomenal, tall, thick clumps but still airy and lacy and able to thread through all kinds of other plants. Note to self- research this a little more and try again this year.

I also love the smell of Lemon Verbena, which is in the same family but a different plant Aloysia citriodora. It's my regular soap, and occasional candle. It's the primary botanical scent that gets me through the winter and without doubt its uplifting properties are a big help. I always pass it over when shopping for herbs for my Harlem window sill because it grows fairly large and shrubby. Note to self- grow it in a large terracota pot this summer in Mamaroneck.

How Will Your Garden Grow?

Back in 1998 I bought a computer- a Mac. I patiently waited for AOL dial up to get on the internet, struggled through a manual to learn Photoshop and breathlessly read Wired magazine's predictions about what this all meant for the future. Would all this technology really allow me to unplug myself from the corporate world, create a micro enterprise, self publish and interact with people in extraordinarily new ways. Yes, it really did. Certainly not as quickly as the pundits were predicting and no fortunes have been made - yet. I have this strange deja vu feeling that there's a change cycle about to happen again and I got that feeling shortly after I got my droid phone.

Just through the filter of being a gardener and more importantly as a gardener blogger- I get this sense of a sea change of how I might be doing things. I'm late to the party- couldn't quite get worked up about the iphone but now that Google are tearing into this I'm so on board. It's probably going to be awhile before the apps arrive where I can identify edible wild plants but I can already scan a bar code for a seed packet and search for a better price online or google something right that minute outside (and I like searching with my voice- not typing). I can get surprisingly good results with the camera. I just downloaded an app that turns it into a voice recorder. I love being able to read emails on a subway platform or flipping through something pretty.

Its not just phones, its tablet type things too- things are changing, everyday. What I do in a garden, how I create garden inspired content is going to change in 2010.

New Year Star

I went up to Mamaroneck on new year's day for a party and was charged to gather up whatever I could from the garden to spruce up the festivities. A quick walkabout yielded some red berries that went nicely with some pine branches. Then a range of dried hydrangeas and dried alliums made quite a pretty vase in a subtle wintry palette -the hydrangeas still had a tint of color- unfortunately I didn't get a good picture. But best of all and most surprising of all- the Star Magnolia was full of buds. These had been moved around the previous year, sulked last year and it looks like they are back with a vengeance this year. A good augur on the first day of 2010.


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