BY FRANCES GROSSMAN
It’s May and in the gardening world, that is our equivalent to Party Time! We look forward to this time of year when the world begins to burst wide open with incredible, mood altering color. It’s finally time to plant flowers that shine in every corner of your garden so that you can bask in the glow!
Gardening and the positive power of color have undeniable links to living well, both physically and mentally. Digging, hoeing, raking, weeding, hauling your garden supplies from the trunk of your car to the garden and the numerous knee bends that you do getting up and around the garden can burn an average of 300 calories an hour. The American Council on Exercise confirms that you’ll also build muscles, which in my opinion has two great results; my garden will look beautiful and I’ll feel wonderful and confident wearing my favorite sleeveless shirts this summer! Physical exercise is also a proven mood booster and eases symptoms of depression and anxiety. The next time you’re feeling frustrated or at your wits end, plan some time in the garden to dig, lift and exert pent up energy; I guarantee you’ll feel better!
Now is the time to get your outdoor spaces together so you can enjoy the sunny days of the season. Great color, healthy plants, furniture and accent pieces will pull it all together. I believe that it all begins with color and how you want to feel. Let’s break this down by hues and color tones that can represent a reflection of the mood you want to surround yourself with…
Green is the color of nature and often symbolizes harmony, freshness and growth. Green is also the most resting color for the eye. Plant recommendations: Ferns, Hostas, veggies & herbs.
Blue often symbolizes stability, confidence and faith. The tone of this color tends to shift with your mood. Light blue gives off a more tranquil, healing vibe, whereas dark blue tends to feel more masculine, powerful or serious. Plant recommendations: hydrangea, lobelia & False Indigo.
Purple or Violet is an interesting color that offers a range of emotion. Creativity and playfulness are often associated with this hue, yet so is royalty. I’ll let you figure out how this will fit into your lifestyle. Plant recommendations: Russian Sage, Verbena & Rozanne Geranium.
Red is a powerful color and perhaps the most emotionally charged in the color spectrum. Passion, desire, strength and power are just a few of the feeling that can be associated with this hue. Red can be used as a beautiful accent in and among your garden beds or as a stunning focal point of incredible color. Plant recommendations: Geraniums, Zinnias & Roses.
Orange feels like a big wallop of energy! As a mixture of powerful red and happy yellow, orange hues can represent enthusiasm, joy and stimulation. Plant recommendations: Begonias, Asiatic Lilies & Marigolds.
Yellow represents sunshine, happiness and cheerfulness. This hue is certainly an attention grabber. Too much yellow can over-do it and become too much of a good thing. Yet used appropriately and with the right compliments, you’ll feel light, happy and wonderful. Plant recommendations: Sunflowers, Coreopsis & Iris.
Lastly, I’d like to share my edible gardening philosophy. I truly believe that when you grow your own food, you’ll eat it. Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants and nutrients. Homegrown food is also fresher which means that you’ll benefit from maximum vitamins. Try and plant a rainbow of color when it comes to your edibles. Not only will the garden resemble a painter’s palette, but each color of your fruits and vegetables offers a different nutritional advantage. Yellow and orange edibles contain vitamins A & C. Red edibles contain ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin which may help to lower high blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels. Leafy green vegetables are rich in iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium along with vitamins K, C, and E.
As we enthusiastically move through the beginning of a new gardening year, take the opportunity to dig right in and embrace a zest for color. Take time to recognize how making our outdoor spaces beautiful can also give you a sunny outlook and healthier YOU!
Frances Grossman is the president of Grossmans Garden & Home located in Penfield, NY. www.grossmans.com. 585-377-1982. Meet other savvy women, just like you! Visit Grossmans Garden & Home on Facebook.