I remember reading in a publication somewhere long ago that the most important color in the garden was green. I remember because, at that moment, the brakes in my mind came to a screeching halt, and I thought:
This was early in my horticulture enthusiasm when I only thought about Bold Color All the Time. Around my three Hybrid Tea roses (‘Tiffany,’ ‘Double Delight’ and ‘Chryslur Imperial’,) I planted hot pink begonias and periwinkles in straight rows like small soldiers on the march. My design capabilities were limited, and green foliage was simply a means to an end; literally the stick with leaves which held up the “perfect” rose.
In my defense, this was before I had any shade, and before I learned how great green looks in the garden; how soothing it is; how it helps one’s vision move from one part of the garden to the other.
In spite of all these prejudices, I read the rest of that article, and it made me think. I must have learned something because, now, foliage is one of the first things I look for in a plant.
What color is it? Green, black, purple, chartreuse, red? Are the leaves healthy? A blackspot covered rosebush isn’t pretty. It’s ugly. I know because my garden is filled with them right now. Diseased peony foliage is also ugly. If your vision is gliding along the garden and encounters peony leaves marked with Phytophthora blight, trust me, your mind will come to a full and complete stop.
At midsummer, during a heat wave, shades of green soften the landscape and provide relief from the white hot sunshine. Green, along with its friend, white, also makes shade more inviting.
Emma, from A Nice Green Leaf inspired this post when she requested blogs create a collage of their favorite green foliage for The Big Green Leaf day. Won’t you go visit her blog and the others listed in the comments section to see what’s growing in their gardens? Just think: you’ll be giving your mind a mini vacation.