Tim Lindsay Gardening Class Color in Your Garden

Tim Lindsay’s Gardening Class: Color in Your Garden

On Wednesday, February 22nd, Superintendent Tim Lindsay conducted a class on Color in Your Garden, where he discussed the physiological and emotional impact of color in the garden.

Tim began his class by recommending Victoria Finley’s book called Color. He finds value in this book because it gives a historic context of color, such as where colors developed. For example, plants, flowers or insects can be used to create colors for paint. The book then goes through the history of artists and their use of color through the ages.

Tim then described how color affects us on both a physiological and emotional level.

90% of our brain power is devoted to processing color. Color evokes strong emotions and that is a very good reason to understand color when planning your garden. ~Tim Lindsay

He also broke down the color wheel from primary to complementary and then to analogous groupings. He discussed the importance of white, suggesting that it should be considered for all color schemes, and that red is a great color to be seen from a distance for a “punch” of color to gain attention.

After his lecture on color, Tim took the class for a tour around the gardens showing examples of how various color palettes are planned throughout the estate.

Starting with the area just outside the Pool Pavillion, Tim talked about the variety of beautiful succulents that flank the entrance on each side.

We then meandered to the Kitchen Terrace, where Tim showed us the beautifully blooming Hardenbergia violacea (lilac vine), the ‘Orange King’ Bougainvillea, which complements the color of the exterior of the home. He then talked about combining and matching plants in pots as accent pieces such as the Kalanchoe spp. with sphagnum moss in clay pot. Tim also pointed out the Acacia cultriformis (Knife leaf acacia), which has taken about five years to grow to a perfect height. Its brilliant yellow beautifully complements the bright blue sky.

Walking along the Dry Border (along the Great Lawn), where he talked about the Dianellia spp. ‘Silver stripe’ (Flax Lily), Leptospermum scoparium (Manuka myrtle) or (Tea Tree), Protea, Purple nemesia, Cuphea (260 species) Cupheaignea, Westringia spp. ‘Morning Light,’ Arctotus, purple, Montbriecia, Coleonema (Breath of Heaven), Eremophila maculate.

As we walked across the Great Lawn, Tim pointed out that the Powerpuff tree (by the back parking lot entrance) was Virginia’s favorite tree because it never stopped blooming. It always produced lovely red Powderpuff blooms for her to look at when she went on her walks.

We continued on to the Italian Terrace Garden Gate Way where Tim showed us the Melianthus major (Honey Bush), Golden Kalanchoe, Red Zonal Geranium, Pink Centranthus ruber, (Valerian), Yellow Freezia, White variegated Ivy with dark blue-green bay laurel hedge, Helichrysum petiorlare (grey leaf), Purple Vitex, Rosemary, Tuscan Blue, Chastetree, Tradescantia spathacea tricolor, Prostate or trailing Rosemary, Dymondia with green box balls, and African Boxwood. Walking along the Italian Terrace Garden (Citrus terrace), we saw the Helichrysum italicum with boxwood balls.

The tour ended with the viewing of the Yellow Aeonium with pipe organ cactus, Bletilla striata (Chinese Ground Orchid).

It was a perfect day, and one where all walked away with a better appreciation of color in the garden. The theme of color continues in Tim’s next class, “It’s Spring Planting Month,”  where he will discuss plant choices that will add charm and elegance to your spring-time garden. To sign up for this class which will be held on Wednesday, March 29th, go to: Tim Lindsay’s March Gardening Class.

Post by Diane Jenkins
Friends of Robinson Gardens Board Member

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