Have you ever found yourself taking your garden too seriously, paying far too much attention to the names of the plants, looking over the same-old-place with something less than joy and enthusiasm? Consider taking a fresh look at your garden from a different perspective: color. Wild, joyous, subtle, entrancing… Keeyla Meadow’s Fearless Color Gardens is a wonderful place to start.
With Keeyla’s approach to horticulture, be prepared to be enchanted, dazzled, and drawn into a new perspective through gorgeous photographs and light-hearted text that sings with creativity and passion. Lest you be lulled into thinking that the author is a light-weight, merely skimming the surface for your amusement, her credentials include a Masters in Sculpture from University of California at Berkeley and post-graduate studies at the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as thirty years experience running a full-service landscape company, Keeyla Meadows Gardens and Art.
On first scan, the book may be overwhelming, but don’t despair. Based upon years of teaching, this master of color leads you through the steps to creating a beautiful garden, full of color in an easy progression and simple discipline. She avoids the familiar, evenly spaced color wheel, substituting, instead, a floral color triangle made of flowers and foliage. Simplifying it further, she urges you to select a single color, then a second color in harmony with the first. Add a contrasting color and a backup to that color, and you are on your way.
Incorporating great design principals with all the elements of the garden, including hardscape and accessories, Keeyla helps you create a unique garden with a myriad of suggestions at each step for enjoying the process and making the final product all your own. This is about joy and having fun, two of the best tools for learning, as well as shaking off fear. It is about finding and appreciating both what you have and what the possibilities might be.
You probably won’t be able to do everything Keeyla suggests, but if her book inspires you to just look closely or to dare rethink one corner of your garden, you’ll be hooked to do more and have a fabulous time in the process.
Lucy Warren, garden consultant
San Diego, California