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On Gardening: Bee Colorful flower mix reminds us why triadic harmony is so stunning

August 20, 2018

Bee Colorful, a new flower mix, attracts pollinators and is a dazzling example of triadic harmony of color.

Bee Colorful flower mix is so vibrant in color itís as if a color artist was involved in its design. Which always seems to be the case when gardeners use triadic harmony; it simply looks harmonious.

Bee Colorful is a new mix from Suntory of Japan. This mix, no doubt, will attract those pollinating visitors but also will garner wows from your friends and neighbors whoíll want to visit more often.

Before we talk triadic harmony or why Bee Colorful is so beautiful, letís have a quick lesson in color. A monochromatic color scheme uses blends of the same color and creates spaciousness as it is not broken or interrupted by another color.

The analogous color scheme is similar to monochromatic in that itís pleasing and soothing because the colors selected are next to each other, there is an inherent strong relationship.

Gardeners who want to maximize interest or attention in the flower border, however, most often consider using the complementary color scheme. This is the one based on the premise that opposites attract. Their differences or contrasts are considered the key to the relationship. Gardeners choose one color from the hot side of the color wheel and the other is the direct opposite on the cool side.

But adding a third or fourth color sometimes makes us scratch our head with a little trepidation; but itís really simple. The final scheme is a little like singing in harmony. Most have had the opportunity to hear music where soprano alto, tenor, and bass are being sung to make a musical performance.

By selecting our colors equal distance apart on the color wheel, we will have a very vibrant garden with some contrast yet tied together in harmony through careful balance. Three colors are used for triadic harmony and four for quadratic harmony.

Suntory has done this in its Bee Colorful Mix. First, the Beedance Painted Red bidens is the main pollinator grabber. This species of bidens is native to Arizona and has the horrible common name of tick grabber. Trust me you wonít have any more ticks than usual. The harmony, however, comes with a stunning blue from Sky Blue Trailing lobelia and a rousing red from Surfinia Deep Red petunia.

But, even if you donít find this irresistible mix, you can create your own beds, borders or baskets of triadic harmony whether planting a butterfly garden, perennial garden or grandmaís cottage garden. It can even be created with cool season pansies.

If your favorite garden book doesnít have a color wheel, try searching the internet.

A great place to begin is with your favorite flower and color. Then simply pick out your next two or three colors that are equal distance apart on the wheel. Donít worry about exacts just get close.

Pollinators and friends alike will start to take notice. Friends might even suspect you hired a professional or took an extended learning class at the community college. Gardening in harmony is a lot of fun.

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