Craving Color


It’s been a long winter.

When you live in the woods, you get used to subtlety. You learn to appreciate delicate shades of blue, and the muted yellows and pinks of wildflowers. You’re amazed at the nuances of white in blooms of trillium and fothergilla and sweetbay magnolia. You love the giant oak trees and the dark, humusy soil, and the way the light filters through the canopy at different times of the day.

But wait!  You’re forgetting about the vivid colors of red buckeye and native columbine, and the bright blue of the ajuga, and the fuschia camellias, not to mention the wonderfully-fragrant, lemon-colored witchhazels. And that’s just Spring. What were you thinking?

Color in a shade garden

Still, there are February days when the garden looks woefully brown. You fantasize about farmer’s markets, cut flower farms, and daylily nurseries — all that bright-hued goodness a gardener takes for granted in warmer months. It would be hard to incorporate all those colors in a garden.You know that. But, today, you’re dreaming…. just waiting for Spring.


  1. The first photo is just what I needed today! I am so ready to see all these bright colors, too. When the snow melted a few days ago, everything looked so brown and messy, but then Mother Nature obliged and covered it all with white again:)

    • You’ve had way more than your share of white this year Rose. As for color at my house now, there’s a yellow-blooming witchhazel in bloom and not much more. Inside, the red Thanksgiving cactus is still going strong!

  2. those flowers brighten my day

    • Linda, as an artist and gardener, you would appreciate the vibrancy and color. I’m not sure the flowers match all that well, but they do lift the spirits, don’t they?