Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Is it too much?

My favorite and bestest client has an interesting set of terraces. The north terrace can have only white flowers. Foliage of any color is fine (and in fact appreciated), but all the flowers must be white. It's a calm and serene garden, full of subtle combinations of various textures, shapes, and shades of green, used primarily for dinners al fresco and evenings in the warm summer air. A soothing and relaxing place to sit and gaze, lending itself to quiet conversation and intimate exchanges.

The south terrace, however, is meant to be a riot of color, as opposite of white as it is possible to be. It's a terrace where kids squirt each other with hoses and a large family gathers for noisy weekend breakfasts. I love working with these kinds of sweeping requests: general enough to leave me plenty of room to play, and yet specific enough so I get a feel for what my client wants.

This week was tricky weather-wise, and one morning was an especially unusual combination of bright, overcast light that brought out the most vibrant, saturated best of the colorful terrace. I was almost shocked by how rich the colors looked and I asked myself, "Is it too much?"

It wouldn't necessarily be my first choice for a garden, but how lucky am I to get to play with so many different kinds of landscapes?

What do YOU think? Would you prefer a glass of chilled white wine against the subtle glow of white flowers and gray foliage? Or does this joyous, screaming-out-loud color combo make you want to down a margarita and ambush someone with a water pistol? There are no wrong answers.

6 comments:

Mum said...

Makes me feel like I'm in the city. Love, Mum

new york city garden said...

I like both, but personally I plant a riot in the sun.
Is that purple loosestrife in the middle photo?

Ellen Zachos said...

NYCG, it's possible that IS purple loosestrife. I've been the gardener here for almost 10 years (anniversary this October!) and that plant preceded me in the garden. For the first few years I told myself it was Liatris, but I don't really think it is. I never let it seed (I whack it back as soon as the flowers pass), and probably should pull it out, but...

new york city garden said...

But its pretty, isn't it!

Kat said...

I think the 3rd picture is a little too much but the 2nd picture with the purple is very pretty. Generally I like sticking to a color scheme with multiple hues of the same color, and then one accent color. But to each her own...

Ellen Zachos said...

You're right, Kat, that third combo is pretty wild. And you only saw half of it...I cropped out the blue torenia, the lilies, and the hardy hibiscus. When the client says colorful, I give 'em colorful!

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