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Epic Gardener
Table of Contents
Issue 11
Summer 2005


Running Hot and Cold

Recent Developments
in Echinacea Breeding

The Monochromatic Colour Trend

No-Loss Planting

Epic Plants 2005,
Part 2

Hardy Cyclamen


The Monochromatic Colour Trend

By Susan Martin
The horticulture industry's newest solutions for helping people simplify their gardens.

Monochromatic (pronounced mah-no-cro-matik) colors: Different shades of the same colour, like those on a paint swatch card. The contrast in light and dark hues can either be subtle, softly contrasted, or strongly apparent. In today's busy world, people are looking for ways to simplify their lives and reduce stress. Mechanisms for doing this have been introduced by many industries: digital Internet services, pay-by-scan machines at the supermarket, and automatic spin toothbrushes, to name a few. This year, the horticulture industry is promoting its newest solution for helping customers simplify their gardens: monochromatic colours.

When monochromatic colours are used in the garden, a visually harmonious picture is painted which conveys a feeling of serenity and comfort to the viewer. This continuity of colour allows one's eye to focus on the details, naturally bringing the plants' texture and form to the forefront rather than the fleeting colour of the flowers. Then green becomes the monochromatic colour focus. This smooth transition through the seasons brings a simple, subtle beauty to the space and the viewer. As the wise Beatrix Jones Farrand once said, “Should it not be remembered that in setting a garden we are painting a picture?”

There are many ways in which growers and retailers alike can capitalize on this new trend. For example, growers could offer groupings of monochromatic
plants for sale as complete packages, like a "Blue Group" consisting of Delphinium, Baptisia, Platycodon, and Campanula. Retailers could set up monochromatic end-cap displays or place a grouping of yellows in the shade to demonstrate their effectiveness in lightening up dark spaces. The possibilities are limited only by one's imagination.

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