Technicolor Garden

In the eighties, Lois Ehlert wrote and illustrated a children’s book that talked about how she and her mother “planted a rainbow” every year. They planted bulbs. They planted seeds. They planted seedlings from the garden center, and all with the intent of reproducing every color of the rainbow in flower form. Nothing exotic. Nothing difficult to come by. All very doable.

That idea has stuck with me through the years.

And, to some extent, I’ve tried to do that in my own garden. The problem is – I don’t have my timing down yet. The colors come in waves. Right now, my garden is pinky/purple. A month ago, it was orange and white. I have yet to produce a consistent, balanced rainbow.

Maybe I need more annuals – something that will bloom predictably all summer. And, I’m sure it would help if I planted some bulbs. (Maybe this fall). Until then, I’ll have to satisfy myself with colors in uneven ratios.

For example:



Right now, I have very little red…a couple of pots of impatiens and a petunia. That’s it.



One lone zinnia – more peach, really, than orange.



Here’s where things pick up. The black-eyed susans are out in force. Yellow is well represented.



Plenty of green all season long in the lawn and the general foliage. No worries here.



A handful of bachelor’s buttons – and some would argue these are more purple than blue. I do have some morning glories, but they’re in the backyard and are easily overlooked. I’ll have to see about moving them up to the front next year.



The butterfly bush springs to mind – though it’s a pinky purple.

And pink.


Admittedly not a “rainbow” color, but profuse in the garden right now. I have cosmos upon cosmos upon cosmos. Three quarters of them are pink. The rest of them are pink and white.

So, having taken stock (and, admittedly, talked your ear off about flowers), I’m excited to see what I can put together for next year’s garden. Hopefully, I can achieve a more balanced rainbow – and even if I can’t, it’ll be fun to try.

From the dining room table, thinking some lipstick red tulips might be a nice touch,

Mrs. Smythe

2 Comments on “Technicolor Garden

  1. Oh, I love your rainbow of color! I should get out and take photos of my flowers . . . before they’re gone. It is the first of September, you know. Eek! I’m so excited. 🙂

    • Thanks, Amy! Our recent warm weather is tricking me into thinking the garden will last forever, but you’re right…fall is just around the corner.