Yellow and Purple, a late summer combo…

Susan DetjensLate summer is a purple and yellow time of year.

Berkshire Botanical GardenThis striking border at the Berkshire Botanical Garden shows how opposites attract.  It is such a felicitous combination of ageratum and rudbeckia.  Don’t you love their green centers surrounded by the flush of yellow-orange on the petals?  It’s like they are blushing.

Berkshire mountain goldenrodThe fields around me are filled with goldenrod in many varieties.  Although they are beautiful now, I hate to see the first blooming scapes when they appear in early August.  They, like the mums that flood the supermarket, say summer’s almost over.

autumn crocus in lime succulentsRising up from a bed of succulents, sprightly autumn crocus spread their narrow petals.  I find their white stems startling.

Powerful purple petuniasA NY state farm stand still has lots of purple petunia baskets overflowing with blossom.  These are quite protected from the nightly storms that have battered down our perennials.

Sunny begoniasSunny begonias are still growing strong, enhanced here by some heliotrope just peeking in the left corner of the shot.

Susan DetjensAn end of summer pot-et-fleur design sits in an old wooden box.  Complementary color schemes are colors that are opposite on the color wheel. These are classic opposites of purple sedum and yellow sunflowers and celosia.  The use of this color contrast makes each look much richer.

Susan DetjensMore contrasting drama is created with gourds, mums and dark purple carnations.  Maybe not the best design you’ve seen, this is interesting to me because of the color dynamic.  Although they are looking a little too red here, these dark purple jewel colored carnations along with the purple ceramic container should dominate the design with so much purple.  However the gourds and the mums still catch your eye first.

Susan DetjensIt is fun to experiment with a complementary scheme.  Use the opposite color to enhance any kind of design.  In a shallow container with a pin holder, yellow gladiolus and golden yellow mums are enhanced by purple stock and carnations.

Susan DetjensA square vertical vase holds a collection of purple flowers from the late summer garden:  Buddelia ‘Black Knight’, Hyacinth bean vine – both flowers and fruit, perovskia, Verbena bonariensis and deep purple carnations.

Susan DetjensSee what happens when a little yellow is added.  It gets much livelier with the addition of goldenrod and mums.  Which do you prefer?



About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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4 Responses to Yellow and Purple, a late summer combo…

  1. Leslie Purple says:

    Love the last one with the addition of yellow what a huge difference! xo

  2. Alexandra says:

    I like the last one. But I really like the autumn crocus white stems popping up! well done

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