I’m always amazed at the range of color palettes in nature, especially in summer. What seems to be a simple white flower can be infinite shades of multiple colors when you look closely. Even the most neutral of scenes is a full range of colors and emotions. You turn a corner and suddenly, your world lights up with a rainbow of color in the most exotic of flowers and plants that never cease to surprise.
The following photos and summer color palettes are just a sample of my delight on a recent excursion to McKay Botanical Gardens in Vero Beach, Florida. If you are visiting Florida, these wonderful hidden jungle gardens are worth stopping to see. Though we thoroughly enjoyed our visit and walk through, I would suggest going in late spring or fall. It was just the beginning of June here and it was already way too warm and extremely humid, but we enjoyed it anyway. Just drink lots of water and dress cool!
I divided the color palettes into whites, pastels, brights and neutrals, but, again, was amazed at the colors and shades found in each of these gorgeous scenes. I love color palettes. I find looking for the actual colors in a scene forces me to slow down and really appreciate the gifts of beauty in the world.
This water lily looked white from a distance. But upon closer examination, we find a blush of pink and yellow sunrise bursting forth from the center, surrounded by the peaceful greens of the lily pads.
This small, modest white buttercup surprises with its sunburst of warm yellows and ochre in the center.
Peace Lilies provide a restful view wherever you find them, but especially in nature where they stand out as sentinels against a myriad of cool shades of green.
These blue gems strike a cool pose among the lily pads, with accents of pinks and orange in the center.
Medinilla magnifica live up to their name with their showy flowers. The range of the palest pink to the deepest fuschia is the perfect compliment to the infinite shades of green surrounding them.
This gorgeous bromeliad is a soothing, harmonious, cool color palette of complimentary purples and greens, with a luscious pale yellow bloom in the center. I think this is my favorite. I love the cool, peaceful but playful combinations of both the colors and the flower here. It reminds me of being surprised by joy!
Another peaceful pond palette of soft, subtle pastels against the blue reflected sky. A lovely palette for a sunroom.
Bold and Bright
I love the “rainbow sherbet” colors in this “raspberry” bougainvillea and “orange”croton against the “lime” grass. So fresh, crisp and cool.
This “Lobster Claws” palette reminds me of Key West. So bright and cheerful and full of surprises!
These sunflowers are a painter’s delight with its palette of yellow ochre, burnt sienna and burnt umber.
This Dragon Tree (also known as Banyan or Fig Tree) catches the light and shadows of all shades of browns. But with the overhanging greens and ground level palms, it’s a cooling and playful palette of shadow and light.
And this neutral, romantic path pleases the eye with a palette of dappled lights – blush and palest greens, to the deepest shades of emerald green. Rest for the eyes and the spirit!
Even what appears to be neutral isn’t always, as in this serene pond scene of perfect large lily pads. I love the rippling shades of peach and deep apricot encircling and framing these beauties.
Which palette is your favorite and why?
What daily joys are you creating for yourself this summer?
Travel Info: McKee Botanical Gardens
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