Color Theory, Creative in the Garden

Gardening in Red

I once heard a “proper” gardening guru state that the color red does not belong in a garden.  Huh?  I understand that there are natural color relationships that would make a tomato red look out of place next to pale pink and lavender for example, but to rule it out all together?

If you know my artwork you will know that I do love the color red with its long wave-length excitement.  The color was a natural choice to paint our studio workshop-barn and as a result, the gardens in front of it have mirrored its tone.  I love how the garden has developed into its redness. Humph proper gardener.

a study in reds

We tend to think of Red as a color all its own but from a painters point of view, it is a singular hue that many other colors can be born from making a family of related “reds”; think papa reds, mama reds and baby reds.  Below are some color gradation charts showing how I used the varying shades from a family reds for my garden.  Perhaps you can use the charts too for your next project; a garden, a room, a quilt or use them to perhaps just help yourself observe the world around you with new eyes.

Redly yours,


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