Donning my tangerine colored raincoat I headed out the door to church this solstice Father’s Day. I needed some cheering and the coat always does it. It’s been raining here in the Boston area for weeks or has it been months? Seems like it. I’m thinking Ken Kesey’s novel set in rainy Portland. It wasn’t the well-known ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ but another that chronicled the mind- set of people besieged by constant gray skies. I can’t remember if they’ve had the chilly temperatures too. We’ve shivered thru many days 20- degrees -below -normal- for -this- time -of -year- can-you-believe-it? days. The plants seems to be faring well although the flowers of the peonies and remaining Siberian iris were recently battered to mush. Many of the purple and blue flowering plants have started to bloom in my entry gardens but their color wheel counterpoints–yellow and orange have not. They may need more sun. So while the flowers are lovely they represent the more somber emotional sections of the color wheel. Variegated foliage and pale green leaves helps a bit.
However, the nasturtiums I planted to adorn my salads save the day! Turns out they are about the same color as the rainy -day- blues- chasing -raincoat! And the composition they’re within illustrate the concept of color harmony and how to brighten an emotionally somber pairing of magenta, rust, and purple/blue. Briefly, a harmony needs one hue and its adjacent neighbors and one more color on either side of the neighbors. Imagine the color wheel I’ve been trying to insert for the last 40 minutes. You’d see the sequence purple, red, orange, yellow. Without the orange, the purple-blue scavola, rust coleus (representing red on the color wheel) and the magenta petunias would be dreary. Gathered together as a color harmony, you can add yellow and orange (in this case nasturtiums) without needing sunglasses! No glare, just a lovely balanced bright combination that cheers on rainy day Sunday’s as well as sunny summer days. However, I’ve decided this particular experiment needs an adjustment. Let you know whenever.