A discussion of color is a bridge upon which a designer and client can meet. Most people have strong feelings about color. I admit to it myself. Certain colors attract me-others leave me cold. Some colors are not so swell on their own, but in combination with another color-all of a sudden there is an idea brewing. Most gardeners are big fans of green. But some like green with white. Others like green with yellow orange and red. Still others like their green limey, with a side of pale lavender or purple. There are infinite variations in color, if you consider all of the possible tones and shades. A client who speaks to a color scheme is a gift to this designer.
Make no mistake, I have more than my fair share of spectacular misses, trying to read what a client will like. Most landscape design projects are forgiving of what I miss. A landscape project takes place over a long period of time. Mistakes can be corrected. A point of view can be tuned up before the installation. A holiday installation is a brief moment in the gardening year. I take special pains to be sure I am on the right track.
The question about color proved to be a good question. My client was sure that she wanted a gray and white holiday outdoors, with some accents of maroon or claret red. I was surprised, and intrigued. Rob sees to my having an ocean of materials available to me-thank you Rob. Once I started scouting the materials we had that available, I was able to put together a palette of materials that I thought would satisfy her request.
Gray and white, in a number of different forms and materials, would play a prominent role in the creation of the holiday and winter arrangements in a singular large stoneware pot, the planters surrounding her fountain.
The front yard fountain had 5 curved Branch lattice boxes surrounding it. We plant those boxes for every season. For holiday and winter, we stuffed each box with noble fir, with a center ring of sparkly white picks, gray pod picks-and a dash of merlot dyed pods.
My client is a serious gardener, through and through. This arrangement in white, gray and maroon per her holiday color scheme is my best effort to represent her relationship with the garden at the holidays.