School colors create vibrant reunion gardens
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2013
URBANA - Summer is the time for family and school reunions,
and University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Rhonda Ferree
suggests taking reunions to another level by starting a reunion garden.
"School reunion gardens are especially nice to do using
flowers in your school colors," Ferree said. "You've probably noticed that
school colors typically include bright, complementary hues. This also works to
create dramatic gardens."
Ferree offered the U of I's orange and blue colors as an
example. "Flowers are often most vibrant when placed with their
complementary color," she explained. "On a color wheel, orange is the
complementary color for blue. Complimentary colors create great contrast and
cause both colors to pop. Color intensity is also a factor. Bright orange works
better with bright blue instead of soft blue," she added.
If planting an Illini-themed garden, Ferree suggested using
violet-blue plantings because of the difficulty of finding true blue in the
"Plant some bulbs for early spring interest," she said.
"Consider orange crocus, tulip, or narcissus. For blue-purple accents, add
grape hyacinths, scillas, or an anemone.
"There are many annual flowers that come in blue. For early
spring color use a pansy in deep purple with an orange eye," she added. "Other
purple annuals include petunia, verbena, gomphrena, ageratum, and statice. For
orange annuals try marigolds, gaillardia, gerbera, nasturtium, or zinnia."
For perennial flowers in blue-purple, Ferree suggested
including lavender, amsonia, bellflower, bachelor's button, coneflower, salvia,
balloon flower, Russian sage, sage, iris, or false indigo.
For orange perennials, she offered such varieties as
daylilies, coreopsis, yarrow, butterfly weed, or heliopsis.
"Another interesting combination might be heliotrope with
its deep purple flower clusters next to a bright orange coreopsis," she said.
"Consider Illini-colored vines for vertical interest. Clematis, wisteria, and
passion flower come in many shades of blue. Orange options include black-eyed
susan, honeysuckle, and trumpet vines."
Fall also offers many options for the blue and orange
garden, Ferree said. "Asters and mums both come in many shades of each color.
In fact, fall flower colors are typically more deep orange-red and thus work
Ferree said she has blue and orange scattered about her own
gardens and that she especially enjoys her deep blue ceramic pots planted with
a green spike for height and orange calibrachoa for the container's fillers and
"Obviously, there are many more options than are listed
here," Ferree noted. "I could easily add flowering shrubs such as orange or
purple flowering azalea. And don't forget foliage colors such as blue hosta and
gold flame spirea with red-orange spring and fall leaves. Make it simple and
choose the right plant for the right place."
For more information on this or other horticultural issues,
contact your local Extension office by visiting www.extension.illinois.edu.
Questions can be posted on Ferree's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ferree.horticulture.
Source: Rhonda J. Ferree, Extension Educator, Horticulture, firstname.lastname@example.org