Sunday, February 26, 2012

Colors of Spring Appear


van Gogh Vincent van Gogh
March 30, 1853
1Oskar Kokoschka, 1886
2Ito Jakuchu, 1716
3Melissa Miller, 1951
4Kano Tanyu, 1602
5Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1696
6Michelangelo, 1475
7Piet Mondrian, 1872
7Milton Avery, 1893
9David Smith, 1906
12Elaine De Kooning, 1918
13Georges de La Tour, 1593
13William Glackens, 1870
13John Rhoden, 1918
14Reginald Marsh, 1898
14Diane Arbus, 1923
14Jennifer Bartlett, 1941
15Emilio Cruz, 1938
16Rosa Bonheur, 1822
18William Henry Johnson, 1901
19Albert Pinkham Ryder, 1847
19Josef Albers, 1888
20George Caleb Bingham, 1811
21Hans Hofmann, 1880
22Anthonie van Dyck, 1599
22Randolph Caldecott, 1846
23Juan Gris, 1887
24William Morris, 1834
27Edward Steichen, 1879
27Mies van der Rohe, 1886
28Grace Hartigan, 1922
30Francisco José de Goya, 1746
30Vincent van Gogh, 1853
31William Morris Hunt, 1824

Many major artists who loved color have their birthdays in March, look up any who intrique you. Remember that paint colors in tubes did not appear on the market until the 1860s. It is interesting to see how colors in paintings changed because of the new innovation of colors available.

Signs of spring, daffodils, flowering quince, and Robins, have appeared in our area. The  dreary colors of winter are giving way to vivid colors. Keep your eyes open for the yellows, pinks, and chartreuses in your neighborhoods.

This collage at the top of the page shows the many brilliant colors of foliage available in heucheras, the new hosta. This website has 60 color photos of various heucheras and offers a “paint-by-number” section in which it lists heucheras by their various colors so you can plan your garden.

Looking for a new plant for your shade garden? Heucheras add a jolt of color.

Check out the new varieties of heucheras, whose foliage has been bred to produce a wide burst of colors, from amber, gold and orange to lime-yellow, red, purple, brown and even black.

The little stalks of flowers that give the plant its common name of coral bells are still there, but it’s the leaves that are prized.

Although traditional coral bells had only green leaves with tiny pink flowers that bloomed once per season, the new types not only have more colorful leaves, but the leaves of some varieties also change color from spring to fall and the plants bloom on and off all summer.

It is for those qualities and more that the National Garden Bureau, the marketing arm of the gardening industry based in Downers Grove, Ill., has declared 2012 “the year of the heuchera,” a plant native to the United States that is still underused.

Not only are heucheras attractive, but they also have become stronger, fuller and more disease-resistant, have few pests and are adaptable to containers.

- Uses — In a shade garden, heucheras provide colors that are not possible with hostas. In front of a border planting, they mound nicely to 8-12 inches. Under trees where grass doesn’t grow, they are an alternative to doing the hosta-doughnut thing. They are good for containers, too, since they don’t “bully” the other plants.

- Care — “Heucheras are an easy plant as long as you don’t overwater, if you do, they rot.That is one of the reasons they need to be planted in well-drained soil, not clay, which holds moisture.

In containers, allow heucheras to dry out between waterings. In winter, heucheras tend to heave out of the ground. This is easy to remedyby lightly stepping on them.

The leaves do not need to be cut back since new leaves will push out over the old. Then the old leaves will provide a cover for the roots, keeping them moist. (But not too moist!)


1 comment:

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