Friday, 23 October 2015

Red and Green......

.....should never been seen, except upon an Irish Colleen.  It seems the words of this ditty I grew up knowing and reciting goodness knows how many times in my life is variable depending on from where we hail. Doing some research on this rhyme for this post, it appears that some of you may well use Blue and Green or even Pink and Green.  There seems to be no definitive answer to which is right and which is wrong.

Blue and Green should never be seen except with something in between.

Pink and Green fit for a queen.

Red and Yellow catch a fellow.

Brown and Blue will never do.

These are just a few I came across. Which, if any, version are you familiar with?  Or perhaps you can shed light on the whole matter.  Please put me out of my misery.

The red and green in my understanding is the red of the Irish Colleen's (girl) flowing red locks and the green of her dress.  My aunt was a red head and always told me that red heads should just not wear pink, ever! Green and autumnal colours pretty much made up her entire wardrobe if I remember rightly.  The red and green connection apparently has it's roots based in maritime history - the lights we can see when its dark in shipping lanes.  Aircraft also use the green and red light system..  A stark warning in the waters or skies if you see them together.

Being Scottish, I of course, have to bring the matter of tartan into the equation - well that just turns the whole colour theory thing on it's head, doesn't it?  Anything goes in so far as that's concerned. Some of those tartans just scream at you and should come with their own colour volume button.

Whether they be deciduous or evergreen - many plants around my garden have something to offer in autumn.  Be it shades of orange, yellow, pink, red, even boring old brown by far my favourite autumn colour is red.  No matter how inspired our flower combinations are or how well thought out our foliage combos are it's at this time of the year the garden can take on a different dimension before our garden retreats til spring.

Reds and greens just happen to be my favourite at this time of the year.  There is plenty of it around right now.  

Red Holly berries and glossy green leaves


Cotoneaster berries are so shiny they look false.  Those leaves will soon turn crimson red.


The twiggy young purple leafed birch, Betula Crimson Frost looks good with a green backdrop.


Blood red stems of the variegated Cornus.


More red stems - the coral bark maple, Acer palmatum Eddisbury


Reddening rowan foliage against the blue sky - and a handful of yellow berries.  Well it is autumn!



That was yesterday......and today?  An overnight transformation.  You can see now why is called Autumn Spire.


Not only does this Persicaria bloom over many months and is a valuable plant in my garden- it's gradual change of colour is vivid.  It will soon collapse in the mushy heap though.


Even Clematis montana Marjorie is getting in on the act.


This dying Peony foliage is on fire this year.  Others are not quiet so eyecatching.


The Enkianthus and Gillenia too.  Hints of red creeping in here.


Another Acer, just about to come into it's own - surrounded by a sea of greenery in the side garden.


A closer look


Are your autumn reds doing it for you right now?  Or is something else catching your eye?   

This October I am joining Christina and other garden bloggers rejoicing their autumn colours over at her Hesperides Garden.  Please do join us.   

29 comments:

  1. Great post about the red and greens!

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  2. Love the introduction Angie, I used to wear a blue suit with brown shoes which was considered incorrect but then did I really care? I do like the contrast of black and white, although I don't like that my house is in a conservation area has to have this, but I always thought brown and cream, as I had on a previous property, was very good. The latest trend in the "footballer's belt" just up the road is grey and white, what they don't realize, as a painter friend tells me, is cheaper to do and of course you can charge more because these things are now trendy, and what do they know?
    Sorry having gone off plot but plants will even seed themselves randomly and produce unplanned displays which seem to work. Your garden is showing some wonderful late colour, the only trouble now is we have to look at several months before things really get going again, but somehow if I had all the year round gardening I would probably get bored. Listening to Mr Cocker with a "Little help from his friends" as I type this, what a loss he is, sorry now gone to Sweet Child, G&R with Slash.

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    1. Colour is such a personal thing Rick and whilst others may consider our choices just wrong or not on trend is neither here nor there. My pet hate in so far as dress is concerned are white socks! Especially on a man. Grrrrr!
      Yes, our gardens will soon have a bit of a break and I now too enjoy the wee break. It gives us something to look forward to.

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  3. All those berries on the cotoneaster! Hardly any on mine down here, but I do have the crimson leaves already. What does that tell us I wonder?

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    1. All three of my cotoneasters are full of berries Jessica. There is a beautiful specimen growing over the front of a house nearby and it's one of the best specimens I've ever seen.
      I've been reading lately that many berries are a sign of the impending bad winter but surely this is wrong and is more indicative of conditions earlier in the year. I do hope the former is wrong - I'm in for a bad one in that case!

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  4. I have never heard any of these sayings – possibly because I didn’t grow up here, but in any case, I don’t agree! Just look to nature, green foliage goes with just about any colour and some of the most amazing colour clashes happen all by themselves in nature :-)
    Loved all your autumn colours, those flaming blood colours are my favourite.

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    1. You are right Helene - nature does things far better than we human could ever hope to achieve.

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  5. Your garden makes it clear that the red and green warning doesn't apply, Angie. The colors look beautiful together and fit both the fall season and the upcoming holiday season. I haven't heard any of the ditties you quoted myself before now but I have heard that pink and yellow shouldn't be mixed (news to me!) nor pink and orange. I don't pay these admonitions any attention - all that's important is how your own eye views the mix. I do occasionally wonder how my husband sees the garden, though. He suffers from extreme red-green color blindness - to him, red and green, as well as closely related colors' all tend to look like variations of brown.

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    1. I think possibly this ditty is a UK thing Kris.
      To us trying to imagine how your OH sees the garden might be beyond our comprehension we possibly think that a sea of varying shades of browns is rather boring but it could be that everything looks permanently autumnal.

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  6. I wonder whether the author of that rhyme was colourblind as colour blind people can't differentiate between red and green. Obviously there are no birds that are colour blind as they seem to have no difficulty in picking out the red berries against the green leaves.
    In our part of the world it is more the yellows that are dominating .Many of the trees are really striking gold in colour.
    I look forward to my persicaria turning an autumnal colour, it is still green at the moment.

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    1. The yellows are picking up now Sue and the trees around the village are looking striking too. I think you won't be waiting too long before the Persicaria begins to change.

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  7. Red and green are beautiful in the garden in autumn or anytime in my humble, albeit tasteless, opinion. I love color and enjoy seeing both harmonious and contrasting combinations like magenta and orange. You've got some beautiful reds right now! In my garden the reds are coming mostly from berries and a couple of acer pamlatum but there are lots of golds and oranges. Fun post!

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    1. Yes, my opinion is just as humble Peter. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that! I'll bet your golds and oranges are just as stunning.

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  8. Those old sayings make about as much sense as the rules some garden designers push regarding color combinations. Love your red berries. All of ours have already been eaten!

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  9. The autumn colours in this part of the world have been wonderful so far with no frost to fetch the leaves off. ( I am proberly tempting fate!) You have plenty of seasonal colour in your garden Angie.

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  10. The version which was doing the rounds when I was little was that blue and green..... I happen to love blue and green together! You certainly have some wonderful foliage, it just got better and better as I scrolled down, you have some really stunning reds in your garden. I'm waiting for my Acer to turn red, it is half way there at the moment, more of a khaki colour!

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  11. I have no idea about these little ditties but they are curious....and I couldn't agree more that red in the autumn garden is the best. The reds this year are spectacular in your garden and mine.

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  12. I've never known about these saying, Angie. I think red and green go well to all plants and a nature is a good landscaper.

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  13. I think this has probably been the most amazing autumn for colour that I've ever seen. As for your poem, I always thought it was red and green.

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  14. I think your autumn colors are more vibrant than mine this year. We've had such mild weather, and then all of a sudden it was cold and windy and rainy. So we're past our peak of color. Thanks for sharing your beautiful, colorful garden!

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  15. Having lived around a good deal of brown for several years now, I'm convinced that just about anything may do well with a little green... ;-) How exciting to see your Rowan turning - love those yellow berries as well as the leaf colour! The Acers are magnificent; and nothing is quite like holly berries...

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  16. I'm crazy for red in the garden, so this is my season.

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  17. A lovely post Angie, thank you for linking in with GBFD this month and my apologies that I have taken so long to read your fascinating post. My memories are of Blue and Green should never be seen - but I don't think it is true at all! All your foliage is perfect, it is also interesting that you chose 'red' and Cathy 'yellow' this month; may have something to do with where you live, do you think?

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  18. I agree that red and green are the 'must have' colours this season! There is also a lot of the red this year, as it seems to be a good year for berries. Lottos the green is morphing into yellow and orange, as the leaves turn. I remember 'Blue and green should ne'er be seen' but I love those two colours together.

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  19. Blue and green is the one that I've come across before Angie but I have to disagree with that. As for red and green they make a most attractive, cheerful and above all natural combination. That holly can't have got it wrong :)

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  20. Hösten kommer med sprakande färger innan det är dags för det stora förfallet och allt går in i vila. Vackra höstbilder du bjuder på!

    Hälsningar

    /Gunilla

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  21. Although it was always the red and green on an Irish Queen that I was familiar with, your pictures tell a different story and prove it wrong. Many of the Prunus trees have had outstanding shades of yellow this year.

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  22. Great colour combos and great blog. My favourite colour combination is yellow and blue :) Yellow daffs against a blue sky or with blue iris, yellow tulips and blue myosotis, etc etc

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