I went to speak to a garden club today. I took nine flats of plants in little black plastic pots, plus a few dozen plants in bigger pots. Some were so heavy I could barely lift them. It took half an hour to unload my car.
I showed them how plants change when you put them together - a gray echiveria will look blue next to an artichoke, but next to a red-leaved New Zealand flax its red edges glow. I talked about having large, medium and small leaves in your garden. About how nothing blooms twelve months of the year; for color you need to think foliage.
I showed them how we all have a built- in color wheel in our brains. Don’t believe me? Stare at a hot pink circle on a stark white background for one minute. Now stare at something plain white. You will see a green circle - the opposite of hot pink on the color wheel. So if you want hot pink to pop in your garden, put some green with it. Yeah, like you have a choice in the garden...green is pretty hard to keep out. But hot pink looks better next to green than next to burgundy...
And I thought they would want to buy plants. I have been in the middle of a plant-buying frenzy at my garden club that makes the Nordstrom’s shoe sale look like a tea party with the Queen. I have been elbowed, stepped on, shoved out of the way. I have had precious plants ripped from my hands. It made a rugby match look civilized - and it was all done in ladies-who-lunch suits and pearls.
But these ladies live in an old town with long-established gardens. So I came home with great memories, seven flats of small plants, and all the big guys. Plus a serious need for cuticle cream. And some place to put one hundred and twelve four inch pots.
What was I thinking?