Thursday, March 18, 2010

Seeing Everything as Brown or White

"Brown shoes don’t make it.
Quite school, why fake it?"
Frank Zappa

Unlike brown shoes, brown sage, in my always modest opinion, does make it in a garden. Here is the brown sage (salvia Africana-lutea, native to South Africa) now blooming at The Water Conservation Garden. Brown flowers belong in any garden that has no pretensions about being sophisticated, but is more comfortable with an amiable mix of the quirky and spontaneous. I have always been suspicious of the late Victorian conceit of “garden rooms” where different themes prevail in different places in one’s yard. I’m pretty sure I didn’t come to this conclusion only upon finally admitting my yard is a hodge-podge of design, but that I had this fixed in my mind all the time I was (apparently) haphazardly cultivating different corners with different impulse buys from the nursery. But even if I just use it as a retroactive justification for the goofy survivors who populate my yard these days, I stand by it, and I am not crazy. Then again, I may have Alzheimer’s, but at least I don’t have Alzheimer’s.

These lovely white jonquils are in the “white garden” at The Garden. I get the idea – that white flowers seem to hold on to the last light at twilight, making them almost glow. But white flowers have always struck me as about as silly as women who drop hankies in the hope that this clumsy gesture will prompt adjacent gentlemen to introduce themselves. Nature is brown, green and sometimes when the light is right, a sort of golden yellow that green becomes when backlit by slanting rays of early morning or late afternoon. The whole point of hankies are to dab coyly at the corners of your eyes to avoid smearing your mascara.

The whole point of flowers are to add other colors to your garden. My favorite kind of calla lily is the green goddess that always looks hand-painted. You can see one in the very left of banner picture at the top of my blog. Some might say my yard puts the “eck” in eclectic. I say if I wanted white in my garden, I’d paint a fence.


GardenJoy4Me said...

Hello WS !
I laugh every time I read your commentary about yourself .. and that thing about the shoppers who stop dead in the middle of the aisle SO TRUE !!! LOL
Yes .. you know I would never had thought of money with the mention of green on my St. Paddy's Day card it just struck me to think green as in mother earth and gardens etc ... I'm glad you noticed that too : )
Well I have spent much needed time in my garden today and every patch of muscle is managing to scream at me at once, but I wanted to drop by and say thank you for your comment : )

Martha in Michigan said...

I've never liked white flowers, either. Not only do they not add pizazz to the yard, but they look worse than other colors as they die. My favorite is arterial-blood red — not scarlet, not maroon, not orange-y red, but a deep, pure red. What this preference says about my inherent bloodthirstiness, I'm not sure I want to know.

Skeeter said...

I like the way white blooms glow in the moon light but hate the way they fade to an ugly brown when dying. They seem to hang on to that dead look longer then other colors...