Designs for Gardens

Designs for Gardens - Gardening Book

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Design for Gardens

by Joseph Hudak

217 pp, 147 color photos, 7 3/8 x 10 3/8", hardcover.

Most people first become acquainted with the fundamental color wheel in childhood… Pigments and light use the same elementary color range found in the wedge-divided circle known as the spectrum. First we have the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue, called primary because all other colors can be made from mixing them together in some proportion or another. Between the primaries in the color wheel are the secondary colors of orange, green, and violet, and each of these is a blend of two primary colors. Placed side by side, each primary color has enormous intensity, but the effect is much less assertive in comparison to a neighboring secondary color because the two colors share a common pigment association.

For landscape use, some subtly satisfying color combinations can be readily arranged by using a concept called the harmony of triads. Here, three related color values are assembled in different proportions both to suit your personal preferences and to blend well with existing colors from plants, structures, or artifacts. A workable arrangement is to pair two of the colors for emphasis and place the third for accent interest. Using the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue -- translated to the landscape tones of russet, citron, and slate, for example -- creates an initial harmony of triads. Combine both russet and citron for the main emphasis here with slate as the accent, which should be a container or even a bench color. For the secondary color range of orange, green, and violet, landscape substitutions include buff, sage, and plum. In this instance, buff and plum could be the emphasis with safe the accent, probably as a foliage coloring. The question of which color value serves as the accent is a personal matter. Other tonal variations are possible, of course, since the outdoor color values are wide-ranging and intriguing.

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