Nothing to see here, folks




Clashes, they say? I don’t think so. Nonetheless, thanks to
all the good sports who actually linked to images or posts where (so they
thought) they had inadvertently placed plants/flowers that failed to play
nicely with their neighbors. Quite honestly, I failed to find much fault with
any of the images that were submitted, but I could see what people were talking
about. I’m so glad to see plants thrive where I assume failure that I am easily
blinded to unfortunate combos. In fact, as I was sitting on the patio today, I
was delighted to see the heliopsis blooming (more to follow) along with the clematis and roses I
mentioned as clashing before. So now we have a yellow along with the two mismatched reds. Image above. Glorious!



And so to the winners. I have three books from Timber Press to give away, and
three different winners. First, I suppose some might object to the combination
of scaevola and stachys that Cindy/From My Corner of Katy offers (above). I
happen to like it, but nonetheless, she gets the Book of Blue Flowers.



And I guess that Denise’s salvia, calendrina, and crocosmia
(cropped out) might not please an overly picky eye. She gets Plant-Driven



Even my tolerant eye is ever so slightly taken aback by the
combo Dee/Red Dirt Ramblings displays. There are daylilies and glads of all
different shades here, as well as other plants I can’t quite identify. Quite a
gorgeous miscellany. Green Flowers goes to Dee.

The problem is that we garden bloggers don’t like to show
jarring or supposedly unflattering images of our gardens. But I think as long
as there are lots of healthy, appropriately-selected and well-tended plants, it’s all good. Not
everyone would agree, sure.



There were other submissions that I just didn’t think showed
much if any clash, like Barbara/Mr. McGregor’s Daughter‘s image (above) and Amy/Garden
By Chance
‘s (below). I think Amy is concerned about the red roses that have followed these lovely spring flowers and I am not sure what clash Barbara sees.



Thanks, too, to Todd and Carol/May Dreams Gardens for
submitting. Todd’s clash was most benign and Carol’s had to be imagined. I’ll
close with this fabulous image from Craig/Ellis Hollow. It’s not his garden,
but part of a color demo he put together at Cornell. Love it!


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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. I enjoyed all these images. On a related note, I find it really difficult to get the true color of plants (greens and all other colors in relation to each other) in my photos. I know the basics of shooting on a cloudy day, etc, but that’s about it. I end up jimmying around with the images in photoshop, which helps some, though again my photoshop skills are really sketchy.

  2. The last photo, from Cornell, is the only one that bothers me. I find that flowers often adapt to what’s around them, kind of like those visual illusion puzzles where the same color looks different depending on what color is around it.
    I like the Gardener’s Palette, by Sydney Eddison, for a book about color, the color wheel, and color schemes in the garden.

  3. Generally I am not a fan of pastel pink and red in the same garden area. But with every combo it depends on the plants involved and if the the gardener has a keen eye. Bulb sellers at Lowe’s need a good thrashing for packaging tulips that are red and yellow instead of pink and peach. But by the time you discover their true color you can’t return them.

    Ditto to catalogs that sell plant multicolor mixes that end up being mostly white.

  4. None are bad except the red celosia. Pee-uuu. That stuff is horrid anyway, like some smelly dried thing you’d find in the craft aisle at WalMart.

  5. I’ve never been able to see that colors clash–and I’m a professional artist! I love to put together pink and orange and magenta and red and watch them vibrate against each other. I agree with the celosia-haters (I didn’t realize so many others dislike it as much as I do!), but I do like the vibrant color combo in that shot.

  6. nice! I hate fast food red and yellow; or tomato red with pretty much anything…but most other color combos work for me.

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