Last night, I was one of about 30 people attending a talk by Northern Gardener writer Eric Johnson at the Northfield Public Library on creating a big impact with a small garden. Eric gardens on a standard city lot in Minneapolis, yet he manages to have a prairie area, a water garden, a shade garden, a vegetable garden, and many creative pots and containers. He offered dozens of ideas, but here is the one I have been thinking about today: Orange is a power color.
Orange flowers pop, Eric says, and anytime a space is looking drab, add some orange and see what happens. Except for some tulips and the marigolds I put around the perimeter of my vegetable area, my garden is devoid of orange. That is something I plan to change this year. I’ve got a couple of beds that tend to look almost monochromatic at times of the year (all green), and those might be the place to add some lively orange flowers, such as poppies (one of Eric’s favorite flowers) or zinnias. Eric also recommends pairing orange blooms with pink. If you get the shade just right, orange and pink make a striking combination — and he had a photo to prove it.
In addition to giving an inspiring talk, Eric gave away door prizes! I was one of the lucky winners and came home with a package of zinnia seeds, which I’ll be starting this weekend. Thanks, Eric, for a great talk, and thanks to the Northfield Public Library for sponsoring so many events in celebration of its 100th anniversary in the Carnegie building.