One of our special features this year is something we call “The Year in Color”. Each month we’re going to share with you, our take on the color of the month as determined by our secret panel of experts. This highly scientific selection process (you can tell I am kidding right?) helped choose the color that the panel believes is most associated with that month and then challenged us to take you on a colorful journey each month. We’re sure that you might have your own thoughts on what color is most associated with each month of the year and we would encourage you to share your own thoughts on this topic throughout the year on our Facebook page.
What would the winter be without snow? In many areas of the country the color white dominates the landscape at this time of year yet snow isn’t the only “white” source. Indoors our homes can be full of fragrance from forced bulbs like paperwhites and hyacinths or if you are lucky you might have a gardenia to fill your home with a heavenly perfume. Outdoors, if you live in the South you might enjoy camellias and as the winter comes to a close, hellebores which are also called Christmas rose or Lenten cross, snowdrops, and crocus signal spring is on its way, even if there is still snow on the ground.
As winter turns to spring the color white daffodils and tulips take center stage along with groundcovers like lily of the valley, phlox and candytuft. Shrubs such as azaleas, mock orange, and lilac take over and then turn the yield the floor to peonies, iris, and columbine. As the spring comes to end roses and daisies begin the transition to summer.
One summer, after coming across the idea in a magazine, I grew a monochrome garden the theme of which is the color white. I mixed white impatiens and begonias which provided a calm and cooling feeling during the day and just glowed at dusk and into the evening. Due to its ability to enhance the beauty of its planting partners white is a popular color in many other landscaping themes including English cottage gardening and it is no accident that the white picket fence is the backbone of many front yard flower beds. Containers benefit from the inclusion of white flowers such as geraniums, sweet alyssum, and petunias and nothing beats the fun and fragrance of moonflowers which actually open in the evening.
Finally, in the fall, we come full circle but as you might guess, white is still as visible as ever. The leaves of sweet autumn clematis which have been green all season long are suddenly covered by an avalanche of white flowers and other fall flower mainstays such as asters and chrysanthemums make their long awaited appearance. Of course, what fall garden would be complete without pansies and in many areas of the country snapdragons are planted now too.
As you can see white may be a color that we associate with winter but it is really a key contributor to our gardens all year round.
Be sure to look over our February posting in our The Year in Color Series.