August 20, 2012

Curating Vintage Palettes - Containers Inspired by 1940's tablecloths

MUSSAENDA HYBRID 'DOUBLE RED' LOOKS VIRTUALLY HORRIFYING WITH  THESE RED VELVET-LIKE BRACTS AND PINK FLOWERS, BUT IN SOME OF MY CRAZY COMBO'S, IT ADDS AN OLD-SCHOOL 1940's MEXICAN FLARE TO MY RED, GOLD AND BLACK CONTAINERS
 I can't help myself, the designer in me loves to explore, and I am constantly looking for  interesting color combinations with plants. It takes some confidence, and guts, since a few of my experiments have been down right ugly ( as in my 'man garden' of brown foliage plants), but I've been working with many black- foliage plants this season, mixing them with silver leaved plants or variegated plants, with very good results. Now, I am adding pure golden-leaved plants to some of these mixes, which are really starting to shine, especially now that some red and gold berries are starting to show. It's bit like Christmas in August here in central Massachusetts.

TALINUM, (JEWELS OF OPAR) IN A GOLDEN BERRIED SELECTION, CARRIES THROUGH THE GOLD AND BLACK MOTIF THROUGHOUT THE CONTAINER GARDEN. THE EFFECT IS ALMOST HOLIDAY-LIKE

 This black, gold and red combination reminds me of vintage bark cloth, or screen printed tea towels from the 1940's , you know the type - the ones with flamenco dancers or Mexican hats on them. This color combination is somewhat inspired by mid-century optimism. Lake houses, camp furniture, 1940's motels and souvenir plates.  With all of the new colors available today, it's been fun to try and eliminate green foliage, which helps when one wants to create a new motif.






AMARANTHUS TRICOLOR, GROWING IN FRONT OF THE GREENHOUSE, WOULD LOOK BETTER IF PLANTED NEAR THESE CONTAINERS. I NEVER WOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF A RED, GOLD AND BLACK GARDEN, BUT I AM THINKING OF THIS COMBO FOR NEXT SUMMER.  


The Amaranthus tricolor has been striking, as you can see now that it has opened up more and colored up. I have seen a number of hybrids in various color combinations of Amaranthus tricolor, named selections in pink, scarlets and all yellow, as well as other Amaranthus species such as A. giganteus and more named cultivars from New Zealand and Japan - all are making it onto my wish list. This curious genus also known as Pigweed, or Chinese Spinach may just be making a comeback.


BEGONIA 'ESCARGOT'  
BLACK PEARL PEPPERS TURN BRILLIANT SCARLET AS THEY RIPEN, DARE I SAY, THEY ARE A BIT LIKE CHRISTMAS-LIGHTS.

EUPHORBIA  TIRUCALLI 'FIRE STICKS' or PENCIL CACTUS, LOOKS LIKE GOLDEN CORAL

3 comments :

  1. Stop already! You have wanting to go redo every one of my containers...

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  2. The amaranthus and black pearl peppers are truly great. But brown-themed containers? I get that when I forget to water.

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  3. Is the Colocasia the Diamond Head or Black Magic or something else? I have a Diamond Head and Mojito variety along with the "common green" I just love them all. Makes my garden look so tropical! Thanks for sharing.

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