Garden Talk

Evoking specific feelings and moods, we all have our favorite flower colors. In fact, flower color is probably the primary reason people choose one variety over another. Perhaps you prefer the cool blues, purples, and whites, or maybe bright “hot” oranges, yellows, and reds tickle your fancy. How about a garden of white and pink flowers colors or the opposite, flowers in shades of black, brown, deep purple and blue? The combinations are endless really, only limited by your imagination.

How do flowers get their colors? From pigments like anthocyanidin (purples and reds), carotenoids (oranges and yellows), and chlorophyll (green). Some flower colors are “au natural”, perhaps only affected by temperature and plant stress. They’ve evolved with regard to specific pollinators, whether they’re birds, bees, or flies and other insects. Other flower colors have been bred that way by mixing the pigments into different combinations or, like hydrangeas, merely changing the soil conditions alters the flower color. By changing the pH of the cells in rose petals, roses can be manipulated into a rainbow of colors.

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St. Francisville

The cluster of notable 19th century gardens in West Feliciana are outstanding examples of what unlimited time, wealth, labor and horticultural knowledge, combined with rich soil and a happy climate could produce in antebellum culture. These gardens remain monuments to past glories and to their hardiness.

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