Orange Makes a Lasting Impression

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may know that I like orange flowers. Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa), Mexican Sunflowers (Tithonia rotundifolia), orange roses (‘Westerland’, for example), orange Zinnias, orange Asiatic Lilies, etc.

Orange carrot gate leading in to the front garden.
Orange carrot gate leading in to the front garden.

One of the gardens we visited as part of the Portland Garden Bloggers’ Fling last July was that of JJ De Sousa. All these months later, my memories of this garden have faded some.

This tableau makes me consider the possibilities of bowling balls as garden art.
This tableau makes me consider the possibilities of bowling balls as garden art. I like the fuchsias and Coleus, too.

So I can only vaguely describe the structure or layout of this garden, but what does stand out in my mind was all the orange stuff.

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Some orange flowers, but mostly orange stuff.

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There is a shade garden in the front of the house. You don’t usually think of orange as a color you mix into calm and shady scenes, but it seems to work here. Keeps the calm from being a little too relaxing.

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Though there wasn’t orange absolutely everywhere.

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Path to the back garden.

2014-07-12 16.23.50While the front is shady, the back is a sunny spot. I’m a little jealous of this, because it’s the opposite of my garden.

But then we always want what we don’t have.

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Those are some dang big orange containers.

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Back of the house.

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Why giant flying orange shrimp? Why not?

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The orange octopus planters (they look like that to me, anyway) go well with the giant flying shrimp.

This was a very fun garden, but I think I’ll keep getting my doses of garden orange from flowers. Do you like orange in the garden? Do you prefer to get it from blooms or objects, or does it make no difference?

61 Comments on “Orange Makes a Lasting Impression

  1. I have been wanting to paint a few ornaments some bright colors this year and this is one color my husband would love as he is an alumnus of Syracuse University….the SU Orange. It’s a big deal here.

  2. What a quaint garden, and how nice to have all the sun in the back. I loved that stone head in the fountain, and those shrimps really got me….I loved them! Doesn’t the cactus look good in the tentacle planter?xxx

  3. I have a shot of orange here and there. I mostly get it with flowers though. If I had some of these interesting items in orange I am sure I could easily find a spot for them in my garden.

  4. Really love this post ! Orange is my absolute favorite color in the garden as well. We must share plant suggestions !

  5. Like you, I love orange in the garden. I get it mostly from flowers but I also have a few orange ceramic containers. Orange is an easy pot color to use, because every color of green looks great in it. However, one of my favorite combinations is a dark purple (almost black) dyckia I have in a clear bright orange pot.

    I loved visiting JJ’s garden with the Fling. I had been lucky enough to see it the previous summer, too, and it was surprising how much she had changed it in just one year. The woman is a dynamo.

  6. Funnily enough, I’ve never cared for orange until recent years–aging (I suspect in my case), has something to do with that…

    I do have more orange–containers, etc. in my gardens than I once did and I like the pop that color gives the garden.

    I remembered looking at photos of that garden on other blogs and the use of orange and fun garden art was well-executed. I think I would agree with you though, I probably would get most of my orange-fix from flowers. Great photos and thanks for the reminder of that lovely garden.

  7. Jason, You may want to check out to see my bowling ball in the garden. I wouldn’t have used a black one, but my wife’s glitzy one does a fine job. AND it doesn’t deteriorate…at least in my lifetime. AND it beats putting it in the dump.

  8. Like Tins, I wasn’t all that fond of orange in the garden until about ten years ago. They say as we age we crave brighter colors. Now I am fond of both orange objects and flowers although I have few in my garden.

  9. I like orange but prefer it comes from flowers. I’m adding a huge pot of dwarf tithonia ‘Goldfinger’ after seeing so much regular tithonia on your blog last year. But I did love the giant shrimp in JJ’s garden. πŸ™‚

  10. Nasturtiums and marigolds are my favourite orange flowers for the garden; I haven’t used too many orange ornaments, but they look like they add a lot of fun to any space πŸ™‚

  11. Orange and purple make up some of my favorite color combos! I like the orange in this garden but I’d rather more came from plants…. but then again a nice purple bench next to a patch of orange lilies. hmmmm.

    • There aren’t a lot of orange flowers and I suppose there are fewer in the northeast. My favorite is Butterflyweed, It’s supposed to be native to all the New England states, though I suppose it is not very common.

  12. Tastes change. I used to be a nut for purple (still like it a lot), trending more and more toward orange. Purple and orange…now there’s a combo that sets my heart aflutter.

  13. Hey Jason! Time to ‘stretch’ a little and add a brightly colored (orange?) non-flower accent or two to your garden (maybe in the back garden raised bed?). I like orange in the garden, too. I got a cheap royal blue metal garden chair with no seat which is going to be painted either coral or melon and turned into a ‘chair planter’ this spring. A semi-orange accent, yay.
    PS: in the bowling ball photo, what looks like fuchsias is actually a charming little dangling begonia. Grew it in pots last year, it was a delight!

  14. I like the odd splash of orange here and there, but would definitely go for those giant orange containers! They’d look great on our patio, but I suppose they would have to be a permanent fixture once filled with soil. I think I’m too cowardly to try bold garden art and prefer to stick to plants instead. πŸ˜‰

    • I am coveting those giant orange containers. But I think they’d crack and break in a Chicago winter.

      • And bringing them indoors for winter could be problematic to say the least! πŸ˜‰

  15. A very interesting and original garden. I think orange is a color that works beautifully in bright sunny places. In northern, more temperate climates, it can look a bit harsh, even out of place, especially on overcast days when the pinks and blues come into their own. However, in bright sunshine, as it obviously was when you visited the garden, it does look cheerful.

  16. Orange is color of Sun and we having long white winter would like to have some orange plants or details in the garden, Jason. I have some orange containers and pots and I think they suit well with the flowers.

  17. I love orange and I really like the container and furniture and other fun accents this gardener used. I think judicious use of a bright color like orange is an excellent way to punch up the shade. I have very little orange in my yard, except for a couple of butterfly milkweed. The canna I planted last summer had a wonderful coral bloom, so I guess I can count that as orange.

      • No, I dug them up and stored them for the winter. 2014 was the first time I planted them. They took a long time to emerge and were slow to grow. I got them from a friend of mine and she thinks the canna bulbs she gave me may have been too small. They eventually bloomed and were lovely

  18. I just love how the orange pops out from teh green. And the Cthulhu planters on the wall are amazing. The plants are doing so well in them. I would have thought that would be a tricky thing to pull off.

      • Shh. He will hear you. He is the monstrous entity that lies dreaming about the day he will devour us all. At least that is what H.P. Lovecraft claims …

  19. I love to see Corten steel in gardens as well as terracotta. I think that the orange is a brighter shade of these which works brilliantly in the light. Looks like the garden belongs to an artist. I especially love the massive pots with cactus. Oh and the carrot gates.

  20. I LOVE orange + really wish I had more space to add more orange + red! thank for sharing- I loved all the ideas:-)

  21. You may remember my post on the Orange Crocus bulbs I found, I know you commented at the time that you’d like some. No sign of blooms yet but plenty of foliage.
    That’s a beautiful garden and their use of the colour orange is tasteful.

  22. Nice! They did a great job of tastefully incorporating orange into the garden. I love orange, too. Not in clothing or home interiors, much, but definitely in the garden. Sometimes I think it’s overdone, but the effect in the garden you’ve shown here is very pleasant. Actually, I tend to favor the colors that happen in nature together. So, my garden’s summer bouquets are very colorful mixes of mostly North American flowers, including orange beauties. Thanks for sharing highlights from this beautiful garden.

  23. I love orange in general so yes…it makes its way into my garden!!! This garden is pure whimsy! I so enjoyed this fun tour Jason! Such a magical place! Nicole

  24. Orange is one of my favorite colors. It’s my red. I love this garden. It uses just the right amount of pop so that it is not overwhelming. And all the shades of green make the orange work very well.

  25. Thanks for bringing back memories of this unforgettable garden, Jason. I’m not a fan of orange–except for Illini orange, of course–in either flowers or art objects. But I have to say JJ’s garden just wowed me! I was taken with those huge pots, too.

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