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Video: Garden Of Contrasts
2023 Author: Ashton Daniels | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 02:25
As you know, everything is learned in comparison. We will consider a line drawn on a sheet of paper as short only if we see a longer one next to it. Likewise, the impression of color can be enhanced or diminished through various combinations. The perception of color by our senses is governed by the laws of color harmony, therefore, to create truly spectacular and picturesque plant compositions in the garden, it is necessary to know the basic principles of color management.
Photo: Grigory Isakovsky
Passion for gardening contributes to the expansion of horizons, the formation of artistic taste and the development of creativity. Garden design can be compared to painting, where plants are the gardener's palette and the garden is his canvas. Or with beautiful music, consisting of a harmonious alternation of sounds - in the garden this unique harmony is achieved by combining different colors and shapes.
Psychophysiologists have found that color affects a person more strongly than sound, smell and taste. Therefore, on the garden plot where you come to rest, it is especially important to create a harmonious flower arrangement. For this, it is necessary to take into account the seasonal and age-related changes in the color of plants, the general color scheme of the site and the color of the surrounding landscape.
History in paints
Photo: Lyubov Kaigorodova
Since ancient times, color has been attributed to mystical properties based on the peculiarities of its perception by humans. In Europe, color symbolism was widely used, which came from the Ancient East: red meant virtue, yellow meant health, green and blue meant wisdom, white meant cold and purity, black meant strength and sin.
In the Renaissance, the symbolic relationship to color was abandoned and the first attempts were made to study it. So, Leonardo da Vinci emphasized four colors: red, yellow, green and black, with the help of which he conveyed volume, effects of chiaroscuro and aerial perspective on his canvases. In the 17th century, Isaac Newton, using a trihedral prism, decomposed white sunlight into a color spectrum consisting of seven primary colors. In addition to them, the human eye is able to distinguish 16 red, 29 orange and yellow, 30 green, 18 cyan, 5 blue, 30 violet and about 30 purple shades in the spectrum.
The first scientific theory of color arose during the Enlightenment, when Isaac Newton discovered the dispersion of light. He organized the colors and created the first 7-part color wheel. In the XIX century. the German scientist Grassmann simplified this circle by introducing a magenta, not spectral color. And in the XX century, the American scientist A. Munsell added yellow-green and green-blue shades to the 8-part Grassmann circle, constructing a 10-part circle. In England and America, it is widely used in printing and textile production to select harmonious color pairs. Color wheels based on light dispersion are often referred to as physical or contrasting color circles.
The yellow foliage is as bright as the flowers, but it lasts much longer in the composition, which must be taken into account when creating seasonal groups.
Photo: Lyubov Kaigorodova
German poet and naturalist Johann Wolfgang Goethe has been studying the theory of color for 40 years and outlined his scientific positions in the book "The Teaching of Color". Unlike Newton, his teaching was based on the perception of color by the human eye. Goethe concluded that our vision, in response to exposure to color stimuli, produces the opposite color. Therefore, his principle of constructing a coloristic circle is based on the law of color induction, or the mutual influence of colors. Goethe built a 6-part circle with contrasting colors opposite: red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple.
The modification of this circle continued in the 19th century. By mixing pairs of adjacent colors and continuing to double, the researchers created 12, 24, and 48-part color wheels, along which you can quickly find harmonious combinations. The circles based on the law of color induction are called complementary color circles.
"Nuances" of color
Photo: Lyubov Kaigorodova
The modern color system is based on a 12-part color wheel. It includes three primary colors (red, yellow, blue) and secondary ones obtained from their mixing: orange, green and purple. Between them are six intermediate shades, composed of primary and secondary colors. They are yellow-orange, red-orange, red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green and yellow-green.
The most important compositional means are contrast and nuance. Contrast is a strongly pronounced difference in properties and spatial forms, which brings variety to the composition. Nuance is a subtle transition of slightly different shapes, colors and spaces. It is often believed that a harmonious color composition can be based only on the nuances of related shades. But harmony also presupposes the unity of opposites, therefore colorful compositions can be composed of two or three colors, between which there are clearly expressed differences. When creating contrasting combinations, colors are used that are located in a 12-part color circle opposite each other.
In contrasting combinations with red flowers or yellowish-green foliage, plants in blue tones should be located in large groups. The ratio of the areas occupied by yellow and blue plants in a flower garden is considered harmonious, equal to 3: 8.
Photo: Anatoly Kharitonov
There are several types of color contrasts, each of which has a unique visual effect. Using their unique features allows you to reveal all the main artistic possibilities of color. Contrasts differ in hue (complementary or contrasting pairs), saturation (pure and mixed colors), and amount of light (light and dark colors). Hue contrast is the easiest; it can be demonstrated using primary spectral colors. Yellow, red and blue have the most pronounced differences, therefore their combination is called the main harmonic contrast.
Hue is a characteristic of a color that allows it to be compared to other colors in the spectrum that are arranged in a circle in a strict sequence. By themselves, light waves have no color: colors appear only when they are perceived by humans or some animals with color vision. Microscopic cones and rods of the retina convert light waves of 400-700 nanometers in length into different colors.
Thus, the color of a plant is determined by the nature of the light rays reflected from its surface. For example, the green part of the spectrum is reflected from the surface of leaves or grass. Another part is retained in their structure, reflected numerously from particles of blue and yellow pigment. Therefore, the surface of the leaf will seem to us either yellowish (if there is more yellow pigment in its structure) or bluish (if blue pigment predominates). And only their equal proportions provide a neutral green foliage.
Flower plants are colored by kraplak, cadmium, cobalt, ultramarine and other pigments. Most of the flowers are colored red and purple, and plants with blue and blue flowers are less common.
Yellow: Plants with yellow flowers present in the composition are usually dominant, optically protruding forward and attracting the eye. You can list some of them, the most common in gardening. These are elecampane, cuff, loosestrife, solidago, mullein, buzulnik, coreopsis, evening primrose, yarrow, sunflower, daylily, navel, helenium.
Muted yellow-green tones, by contrast, are a good backdrop for brightly colored flowers. The yellow foliage is as bright as the flowers, but it lasts much longer in the composition, which must be taken into account when creating seasonal groups.
Plants with bright yellow foliage and orange flowers can be combined, while muted yellow foliage will create an exquisite harmony with greenish yellow flowers. For autumn garden compositions, it is good to use shrubs with yellow autumn foliage: euonymus, sea buckthorn, mock orange, cinquefoil and others. Yellow ornamental deciduous plants and grasses provide moderate brightness. And when they are combined with bright red colors, an association with fire arises, because the yellow color, as it were, illuminates the red from the inside.
Red color: the "hottest" of the warm tones, associated with fire and blood, excites and lifts the mood, which is associated with the activation of all body functions. Plants in red are brought to the fore for the most intense tonal impact.
Dahlias, lichnis, gladioli, monarda, lupins, carnations, gravilata, phlox, astilbe, daylilies, poppies, tulips have a wide variety of shades: scarlet, crimson, crimson, burgundy, red-brown, blood-red and others. When trying to create a monochrome "red flower garden" out of them, you need to use more purple foliage as a background and a spectral red plant. Against the backdrop of a green lawn, red flowers appear more intense, so large red spots in the garden can cause feelings of aggression.
On a white background, red flowers optically approach, on a dark background (black or purple) they move away and fade. The combination of red and blue colors on a neutral (white or gray) background looks the most contrasting.
Blue color: cold and “distant” - the further from the observer the objects are, the more they appear to be colored in blue tones. Accordingly, the flowers of blue shades merge in the distance, and they can only be viewed from a close distance. Bellflower, cornflower, cyanosis, bluehead, flax, lupine, iris, delphinium, brunner, liverwort, muscari, obrietta, ageratum, morning glory, petunia have interesting shapes and unique shades: cobalt, ultramarine, cornflower blue, sea waves, turquoise. The color of these plants appears brighter in compositions with yellow and white flowers.
Warm shades of orange enhance the saturation of blue and blue-green tones, therefore, a combination of various types of tagetis and lobelia is traditionally used in landscaping.
Psychophysiologists assess the blue color as heavy and severe, contributing to the inhibition of physiological functions. Therefore, to revive gloomy combinations of blue flowers with purple and dark red, it is advisable to include in the composition plants with flowers of light colors: pink, cream or white.
Green color: symbolizes peace and fertility, peace and constancy; has a calming effect, lowers blood pressure and increases performance. Shades - marsh, salad, olive, emerald and others. In combination with warm tones, green fades into the background, so yellow and red flowers stand out well against its background. On the contrary, blues and purples, in harmony with green, bring it to the fore. When creating herbal compositions, they often include such decorative leafy plants as hoof, berry, horned goat weed, cuff, euphorbia, kochadyzhnik, ostrich, shitnikov and others.
Dark green foliage enhances the saturation of pink and pale red flowers, blue-green leaves create a shadow effect, so plants with silvery or golden foliage and blue flowers go well with them. Yellowish green leaves look light and shiny, so they harmonize well with apricot and yellow flowers, and form contrasting combinations with blue and mauve.
The development of coloristic plant compositions is a difficult but very exciting task. It seems to me that any gardener can create on his site a harmonious tricolor composition, which I photographed last spring in the country residence of the English royal family - Hampton Court. It is part of a mixborder set against an old brick wall and consists of lemon yellow daylily, red pelargonium and blue heliotrope. The color of these plants is a triad of primary colors.
A contrasting three-color composition can also be created from any other colors located at the vertices of an equilateral triangle inscribed in a 12-part color wheel. However, it should be borne in mind that the intensity of the hue contrast decreases as the colors move away from the primary, and the difference between orange, green and violet will be much weaker than the basic harmonic contrast, and the effect on the observer of the triad of intermediate shades will be even less pronounced.
Journal "Landscape Solutions"