January 16, 2013

The Impact of Color in Outdoor Living Spaces

Landscape ColorsColors have always been important to people from the beginning of time. Colors are used as marks of nations, communities, and individuals. National colors of a flag, crest for a club or family, colors for symbols of religion, and for schools. Among the most modern colors in today’s world is clothing, interior design, and various art forms including gardening for the public and individuals.

Everything has color, and the colors that surround us influence our emotions, even though we may not be aware of it. A famous painter Kandinsky wrote, "colors exert a direct influence on our souls". Studies have proven red makes us more active. Someone who sits in a red room has a rise in blood pressure and body temperature. The colors green and blue work just the opposite. They have a definite calming effect. The colors around us and on us exert influence in our life. The colors we use in our clothing, homes, products and gardens reflex what we are.

Human beings can distinguish about one million different color shades! We can develop our ability to see colors by consciously looking at colors around us. There is so much to be enjoyed! Gardens in our outdoor living spaces are a perfect way to add color to your life.

There is a growing interest in planned colors in outdoor living spaces. The technology has advanced so much in the last few years the varieties of colors to choose from have been amazing. It seems like a new flowering color comes out every week in many different species! The internet is a fantastic place to follow the new additions to the market for new plants.

The first gardens probably appeared in ancient Egypt, China, Japan, Greece, and in the Roman Empire. In Europe, it began with convents, which had gardens that were mainly used for herbs. The plants were placed in neat beds with straight lines and usually in symmetrical plots. This concept was transferred to ornamental gardens and remained for a very long time.

In England, early in the Eighteenth Century, people were asking for of a natural design and more room for plants. Many new plants were being introduced into the local botanical gardens at that time. Gertrude Jekyll, who had studied art, got involved with designing gardens. She decided to use some color theories for art in her gardens. She is called the first impressionist gardener.

In France, the Impressionist painter Monet, expressed his ideas about color in the garden design of his house in Giverny in 1883. He captured differences in color from all types of natural light exposed on the plants in his own garden. Mien Ruys, from the Netherlands, started using many different blue flowers. The color rush then gained momentum. Specialized nurserymen then started to obtain plants from abroad or breed new forms for their color and making a much larger selection.

Why do leaves have color? Like everything in nature, colors have a function. Colors are part of life and they are important for the propagation of the species. 

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