Color is always an important attribute to the garden. The one unifying color at Old Goat Farm is yellow. It helps that the house is yellow so that the plants have a truly big anchor. We both are fond of yellow (and Green) so we tend to gravitate towards plants that are yellow or bloom yellow.
In a plant collectors garden, repetition of color is one way to tie the other plants together whether in foliage color or in it’s bloom. If you have one color weaving in and out of a bed your eye follows that line and makes the bed look like it flows. We vary the texture and size but your eye seems drawn to bright colors. White or silver may do the same thing but I find yellow to be much warmer and for me more appealing. Not all our beds have yellow in them but most have some kind of color theme going on. Yellow just seems to be in many beds particularly in the shady parts of the garden.
The color doesn’t need to be limited to just the plants. Containers, furniture or any other accents can carry on the theme. We have a yellow market umbrella on the patio along with a number of yellow containers. In the garden we integrate some containers and although most are kind of earth tone, they do have a bit of yellow in them. To compliment the yellow we use a number of contrasting colors, blues, purples and burgundy to make the yellow really stand out. Purple seems like a natural combination for yellow and we have repeated that a lot.
We do have a few golden conifers but the majority of yellow plants in the garden are herbaceous, which means they die to the ground in winter. That gives the garden a different feel in winter but that’s ok. In winter it should be quieter so I’m satisfied with the subtle structure and greens then.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Only you know what you like and that’s all that really matters. If you buy a plant, leave it in the container and just place it in the garden where you might like to plant it and see how it feels there. You can even leave it for a few days to get a good feeling about it.
Here in the Northwest with all our grey days it helps to have something to brighten up the garden. On a dark day you could really get bogged down by shades of green. Green may be relaxing but yellow energizes me and you know in our garden some days I need all the energy I can get even if it is just this small amount of subliminal energy.