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A Garden Rainbow

January 26, 2010

Recently, Rebecca of Prefer To Be in the Garden did a delightful blog post on rainbow colors in the garden and invited other garden bloggers to find the colors of the rainbow in their own gardens.

As you can see below, I decided on a fairly literal interpretation of the rainbow, with horizontal bands of color shading from red to violet.

red cyclamen Hemerocallis 'Crimson Prairie,' Montreal Botanical Gardens Hemerocallis 'Mid-Winter Fire,' Montreal Botanical Gardens Hemerocallis 'Dewey Roquemore,' Montreal Botanical Gardens
Hemerocallis 'Orange Bounty' Hemerocallis 'Furnace of Babylon,' Montreal Botanical Gardens Study in orange - zinnia and butterfly, Montreal Botanical Gardens Hemerocallis fulva (tawny daylily) Hemerocallis 'Margaret Seawright'
Hemerocallis 'Mary Todd' Rudbeckia 'Herbstsonne' Tiger swallowtail on allium Hemerocallis 'His Pastures Green' Hemerocallis 'Alna Pride' Heliopsis
Geranium endressii foliage Rhododendron leaf encased in ice Amsonia tabernaemontana foliage Rhdodendron foliage Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock) needles Hostas nigrescens and 'Regal Splendor'
Iris sibirica (probably 'Yankee Doodle Boy' Delphinium - New Millenium strain, 'Sunny Skies' Tradescantia 'Zwannenburg Blue' Iris sibirica 'Super Ego' Ipomoea 'Heavenly Blue'
Platycodon grandiflora 'Sentimental Blue' Iris sibirica (unknown variety) Delphinium - New Millenium strain Geranium x 'Brookside' Baptisia australis - false indigo
Angeliona, Butchart Gardens Allium giganteum 'Globemaster' Iris sibirica 'Lavender Bounty' Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

(Holding the cursor on any of the images above will reveal a caption. You can also enlarge any image by clicking on it. All photos were taken by me.)

Finding the images to fill in these bands of color was a fun challenge, and I spent some up-close-and-personal time with my photo archives. The yellows and blues were easiest for me, since these are the predominant colors of my garden. All the images in these bands and in the green band are from my own garden. For orange and violet, I also included some images from gardens I have visited. Red was the greatest challenge for me; this is the only band in which I could not include any images from my own garden (unless you count the red cyclamen that grows on a light-filled window ledge inside my house).

Alas, rainbows are as rare a sight in my garden as red flowers; the tall trees that grow on all sides of my property obstruct the view of any rainbows that might be present.Β  But I can offer this rainbow, photographed from the ferry coming into Juneau, Alaska in June, 1996.

rainbow at Juneau1

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25 Comments leave one →
  1. miss m permalink
    January 26, 2010 8:40 am

    I actually love your literal interpretation because we see the rainbow so clearly ! Lovely blooms and photos !

  2. January 26, 2010 9:00 am

    I love your rainbow of photos! I bet that did take some time to create.

  3. January 26, 2010 10:31 am

    Wonderful post Jean, I love your interpretation witt the colour bands, it’s so interesting how the colours flow and blend from one to the next. Interested that we are kindered ‘lack of red in the garden’ spirits. It isn’t really intentional for me, many of my purchases are on a whim, and I’ve never been struck with the mood to buy anything red. Beautiful rainbow picture! Thanks so much for your great post & kind words. πŸ™‚ Rebecca

  4. January 26, 2010 10:34 am

    What a sight to see first thing in the morning! It’s interesting doing this project and finding what colors we have more or less of in our garden. I love how you’ve included the beautiful butterflies.
    Your last row with the Allium reminded me I planted some of those this last fall. I had already forgotten πŸ™‚

  5. January 26, 2010 10:57 am

    Oh I can see your rainbow Jean in the beautiful array of pictures. Since I only starting taking photos up close and personal of my plants from November I’ve can’t participate in this. I see you are a lover of hemerocalis Jean – you’ve got lovely of pictures of them in this collage and your favicon too. Rosie πŸ™‚

  6. January 26, 2010 11:01 am

    Very nice idea! It shows the variety of color and plants… always fun to see so many photos of the things we love.
    nice post! I garden blogged about my blooming narcissus today… they are the most beautiful white color.

    • Jean permalink*
      January 26, 2010 11:52 am

      I’m glad that you all liked my rainbow.

      Miss M, Rebecca, and Rosie, I’m so pleased that you could see the rainbow and the blending of colors from one band to the next; that was the effect I was trying to achieve.

      Amy, Time?? I love playing with colors, and I also love a technical challenge, so it was easy for me to get caught up in this and let it absorb quite a bit of my time and energy for a couple of days. Have I mentioned the word “obsessive” in describing my personality?

      Rebecca, Thank you so much for the idea and the invitation. Like you, I didn’t intentionally avoid red in my garden. I do have one deep maroon daylily, a gift from a friend, growing on the back slope — but it’s interesting that I’ve never photographed it. I would like to include at least one bed with “hot” colors when I landscape the front of my property (which is much sunnier than the back). I love oranges, and there are some wonderful bi-color daylilies with both red and yellow, so I think I will get some red into the garden then.

      Catherine, I’m glad the sight of my rainbow brightened up your morning — and reminded you of that allium you have to look forward to in spring.

      Rosie, I do love hemerocallis. One of my first blog posts was entitled “I Love Daylilies.” There used to be a daylily hybridizer with a nursery about 15 miles from my house and on weekends, he had what he called “Dig Your Own” sales. Customers had free access to his daylily field and could dig up a division (usually 2-3 fans) of any plant they wanted to buy. He provided spades for digging, plastic bags for the bareroot plants, and labels — and he only charged $5 per plant. I can’t tell you how many weekends I spent there, and how many daylilies I brought home! He retired and closed the business a few years ago, but I have plenty of reminders in my garden.

      Nadia, it is fun to go through photos at this time of year and remind ourselves of the wonderful blooms to look forward to. And, of course, blooms in the house are also wonderful. I’m looking forward to visiting your narcissus.

  7. January 26, 2010 11:41 am

    Bravo Jean,
    What a brilliant collage!

  8. January 26, 2010 1:04 pm

    Oh Wow….I just finished my rainbow post, but it does pale in comparison. I love your photo collage and the labels that appear. You are so creative and the flowers are so beautiful. The rainbow is perfect :^)

  9. January 26, 2010 1:39 pm

    Good job. I really like this idea. I have never tried it but It looks intriguing. Someday when I have time. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing this.
    Rosey

  10. Kiki permalink
    January 26, 2010 5:43 pm

    Beautifully Stunning post!! Gorgeous rainbow array!

  11. January 26, 2010 5:54 pm

    Your flowering rainbow is gorgeous, and so is the one in the Alaskan sky. The earth offers so much to us; what a blessing to be in touch with the natural world!

  12. January 26, 2010 6:31 pm

    Lovely and imaginative Jean! Beautiful Beautiful post! ;>) Brava!

    • Jean permalink*
      January 26, 2010 11:52 pm

      Allan, Noelle, Rosey, Kiki, Deb and Carol, Thank you all for your kudos and kind words. I’m not sure why I got so carried away with this. Maybe I lapsed into my overachiever mode, determined to demonstrate that I can tame images using Live Writer. Or maybe this was just a lot more fun than all that (mostly still undone) more boring stuff on my to-do list! Either way, I’m glad this effort brought you pleasure. It was fun, but Rosey, you’re right, you don’t want to take this on until you have some time.

  13. January 27, 2010 10:11 am

    I love this, of course! Very nice take on the project theme, and the colours just satiate my colour-starved soul.
    Jean, does the google friend connect work on WordPress? As I wrote to you on Blotanical, I can’t seem to get your blog to show up on my sidebar of blogs I read, but I may be doing something wrong. I will investigate further on my end, but I usually read posts in new tabs when in Blotanical, and I closed a whole window before I’d finished writing comments, then couldn’t find you without going back to Blotanical because your post wasn’t in my sidebar. I’m sometimes all thumbs…

  14. January 27, 2010 10:14 am

    Ahem. I figured it out…I had to add you to another widget to get you to show up. I truly AM all thumbs by times. But I’ve got you now. There are too many ways to add favourites/follow/friends…

  15. January 28, 2010 5:13 pm

    That’s about the best photo of a spiderwort bloom I ever saw. They usually come out pinkish. All the blossoms are beautiful and the rainbow effect worth the time you spent. Great post.

    • Jean permalink*
      January 28, 2010 11:11 pm

      Jodi and Nell, I’m glad that both of you enjoyed my rainbow.
      Nell, I’ve decided that you’re right and it was worth the time. It’s grown on me so much that I’m thinking of trying to capture it in an 8 1/2 x 11 version and printing it out.

      Regarding the color of the tradescantia bloom, I have a number of blue flowers growing in my garden that seem to be temperature-sensitive. We have a lot of cool, crisp mornings here, even in summer, when the temperature is in the low fifties (or occasionally even the forties). On those mornings, the temperature-sensitive flowers are an eye-popping intense blue. As the day gets warmer and the sun warms them up, the color becomes more violet. My guess is that I took this picture on one of those cool mornings.

  16. January 29, 2010 10:46 am

    Jean, I can’t wait to do a rainbow blog post! I have to wait to get a few more photos of colors I am missing though.
    I did a blog today on making garden bookmarks and keeping the color theme in mind from the garden will make great future gifts :).
    happy planting.
    Nadia
    http://www.nadiaknows.com

  17. January 30, 2010 7:54 am

    Jean,
    A beautiful rainbow of blooms. I love the way you arranged your pictures – very clever. πŸ™‚ I love your selections for orange and blue.

  18. January 30, 2010 11:00 am

    Jean, I need to congratulate you on a job well done. I see that you have put in a lot of efforts to this post and the result is marvelous, almost perfect and I love it! Cheers! πŸ˜›

    • Jean permalink*
      January 30, 2010 10:45 pm

      I’m pleased that you all enjoyed my rainbow.

      Nadia, Taking photos with the specific idea of capturing rainbow colors will be fun, and could give you quite different results from just working with the photos available.

      Liisa, I don’t know what gave me the idea to arrange the images this way, but once I had the idea there was no stopping me. It would be fun to combine blues and oranges in a planting. Maybe I’ll put some blue accents in my “hot color” beds when I design them; this would be a nice way to link them with the rest of the garden.

      Autumn Belle, you’re right that a lot of effort went into finding and (especially) formatting the images for this post. It was one of those technical challenges that I can really develop a single-minded focus on.

  19. February 4, 2010 11:45 am

    Hi Jean, long time no visit…sorry;-( It was so much fun to do this project. Looking at yours, I see the rainbow effect from both a horizontal AND a vertical perspective. Very cool. Allium! The giant globemaster allium…just about my favorite! I have some seeds from somebody from last year…now to figure out where to put them. We have had snow on the ground for a while, then got a bunch of snow 2 nights ago; now a monster snowstorm is predicted to begin tomorrow. I guess that will keep my garden protected and well-insulated!

    • Jean permalink*
      February 4, 2010 12:49 pm

      Jan, It’s always nice to hear from you. I loved your rainbow, so I’m delighted that you liked mine too. (Such a gratifying mutual admiration society we have going here!)
      The mid-Atlantic and upper south have really been hammered with snow this year. Most of these storms have never made it this far up the coast, going out to sea to our south (although I think some of them have clipped the Canadian maritimes, so Jodi has probably seen more of this snow than I have). Driving north yesterday after my bi-weekly visit to my mother in Rhode Island, I was shocked by how much bare ground was showing along the Maine turnpike. It was a relief to get home and find that I still had several inches of snow cover. But I would feel a lot safer if it were a foot or more — so I’m definitely hoping for a good snow storm soon (not only for my garden, but because I still haven’t managed to get out cross-country skiing this winter :-)).

  20. February 11, 2010 10:17 pm

    Hi Jean, just wanted to let you know that I have a Thank You for participating post on my blog. πŸ™‚ Rebecca

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