Color Me True

Remember the colors you liked as a young child? Bright, joyous colors that shouted out their exuberance! We dressed with abandon, matching purple socks with a magenta skirt that sported yellow polka dots. It made us feel so happy. I recall a favorite dress that screamed chartreuse and pink. And you know what? I still love that combination. Particularly in the garden. Think Euphorbia polychroma and Triumph tulips like Barcelona – acid yellow/green with fuchsia! Stunning right?

Yet, as we grow up, we permit all sorts of rules to be imposed on our sensibilities. We give in to norms and tastes that do not necessarily reflect our own. Afraid to be different and call attention to ourselves, we join the herd. Which is a shame. We need more unique voices in our midst. I’m not suggesting anarchy or that we be inconsiderate but rather, I’m calling for us all to be true to ourselves. Lets not hide behind uniformity or be bullied by arbitrary taste-makers. Instead, we can each be a distinct, exceptional piece in the social quilt of life.

If breaking out and expressing yourself in all areas of your life is a daunting thought, then start with your garden. Maybe just a single flower bed. Forget rules about how many of each type of plant, coordinating colors etc., Just go for what your heart desires. As you tend this patch, you yourself will work out the details and specifics that best appeal aesthetically. Soon, you’ll feel confident about spreading your preferences to the rest of your garden. From there, move on to your home’s interior, your clothes, jewelery, choice of reading material…. take my word, you’ll feel good.

In my recent travels, I’ve come across many gardens but the the most memorable ones were invariably those that had their own spin. Clashing colors that put a big smile on your face. Unfettered by any visible scheme, these gardens celebrated the season. They created an atmosphere of unadulterated fun. And isn’t that exactly what summer is for?

I’d love to hear about your color tastes from childhood and if you still love those hues. If yes, how do you incorporate them in your adult life?

Note: For those of you in my neck of the woods, you have the opportunity to visit a wonderful garden this Saturday August 8. Mike Bakwin’s garden is open from 10 am to 4 pm. Mike is a good friend of mine and I can personally attest to the beauty of his garden. You might even see me there! For details click here.





(c) 2015 Shobha Vanchiswar


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