Monday, December 23, 2013

Favorite Flower Colors for DC-Area Gardeners

For our December 2013 Washington Gardener Magazine Reader Contest, we asked readers to tell us: "What flower colors do you like best and least for planting in your garden?" Here are their responses:

"My favorite flower colors in the garden are burgundy/claret and pale green.  With some limited exceptions (daffodils, for example), I tend to avoid yellow."
~ Linette Lander, Takoma Park, MD

"What flower colors do I like best and least for planting in my garden? I am really surprised to discover after designing and redesigning over the last decade or two that my most-used color appears to be… pink. I was never a pink lover growing up; it was "girly" in a way I didn't want to be. But now, moving beyond sexism in gardening, I'm recognizing the strength of all the various pinks out there, from pale to bright, and how well they work with other colors, especially yellow, which is the second-most prominent color in my flowerbeds.
    I don't think I have a least favorite color - just whichever one doesn't work with everything else and I have too much of for some reason. I have discovered over the years that the flowers with the most vibrant, clash-prone colors are the ones that come back when they're not supposed to, like the 10-plus-years-old orange tulips growing in 8 inches of clay by my mailbox, or the chartreuse and magenta gladioli that someone gave me, that lived outside through two winters before succumbing. Flowers with strong personalities."
~ Erica H. Smith, Germantown, MD
"Best -  red and Least - lavender."
~ Wendy Bruno, Silver Spring, MD

"I like pink/purple/blue flowers the best and tend to stay away from orangey/bright yellow."
~ Katie Rapp, Gaithersburg, MD
"Least favorite - hot/neons in pink, purple, orange. also not crazy about some yellows and reds.
Most Favorite - layered textures & greens. also white and soft-med purples/blues."
~ Jennifer Gardiner, Washington, DC 

"Favorite color flowers are whites, particularly any white that is long-lasting.  This time of year, a Snow Flurries Sasanqua camellia is divine.  Resplendent double white flowers that blooms over and over again from October through February.
   Least favorite is harder to define.  Maybe pink, but only because it is sometimes over used and can seem a little jolting in the Spring."
~ Jeff Trunzo, Takoma Park, MD

"I love pinks and azaleas."
~ Lisa Titus, Leesburg, VA

"I want all colors in my garden beds, but always try to have as many orange flowers as possible. I less prefer white, but am learning to use it because it accents everything else really well!"
 ~ Alison Mrohs, Rockville MD
Congratulations! Each of the above entries received a vehicle pass to the Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens. Enjoy illuminated giant flowers, snowflakes, a rainbow and showers, and more. Walk along the easily accessible paths and you’ll see what sets this light show apart from others. This festive, secular light show, now in its 16th season, is a popular family tradition in the Washington, DC area drawing close to 40,000 visitors each winter.

Why did I think assume would be some consensus or trends amongst our responses? Each entrant's taste in flowers was unique. If anything can be extracted from among this varied group, I would say that overall cooler shades are preferred over the warmer more intense ones.

Personally, my tastes have changed over the years. At one point I strived for an all-white garden, now I have paired most everything white out as I dislike the look of the spent white blooms. My favorites now are chartreuse green and lavenders. I also find that I'm adding very dark (black) blooms where I can find them.
So, what flower colors do YOU like best/least in your garden?

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