The full colour spectrum is found in sunlight – ranging from red, orange, yellow, green, blue and indigo, through to violet. These spectral colours run into each other, creating an infinitely vast and varied range of tints.
The colour of blooms and foliage depends on the three main pigments found in each plant cell. Chloroplast is the carrier of green, or chlorophyll. These pigments, concentrated in the leaves, absorb sunlight and carbon dioxide, which they process into sugar, providing nourishment and energy. Leucoplast pigments are carriers of yellow and white, while chromoplast is the carrier of red, orange and yellow pigments.
Further variations are brought about by a layer of wax (cuticula) on the epidermis that reflects light and makes the petals shine like silk. Other petals have an uneven surface that diffuses the light, and their appearance is velvety. Absorbed light in a flower brings about further chemical reaction, resulting in changing colours as the bud opens, blooms, and then fades.
Colours are visualised emotions and affect moods.
Although everyone evaluates colours independently, it has been found that intense observation of a colour influences our body chemistry.
Red is the strongest emotional colour, evaluated and processed in the left part of the brain. It is the colour of love and also of danger. Intense observation of red can cause a release of adrenaline, which triggers alertness and feelings of stress. Large beds of red roses are superb in open parks, but red can be a difficult colour if used intensively in a small garden. See our red roses.
Stress-reducing green results from a balanced mixture of yellow and blue. Scientific research in the 1950s found that surroundings of green were least tiring for the eyes. Many offices and working environments were painted green, until it was found that too much green leads to monotony and lack of attention. That is why parks and gardens must be enlivened with colourful flowers to retain our interest.
Blue is the colour of distance and the horizon, of Heaven and of the Earth. It is the colour of never-ending desire. It is evaluated and processed in the right part of them brain which is known to be responsible for emotions. Blue flowers planted at the periphery of a garden give the impression of increased space.
Yellow is the colour of confident, happy, lively people. This colour loosens the mood and signals energy. Just as blue flowers in a garden appear to increase its size, yellow flowers are planted to shorten distances. Yellow comes forward to viewers – blue moves away. See all shades of Yellow
Orange combines the strength of red with the cheer of yellow. It denotes energy and pride, but also passion. German poet and natural scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote ‘. . . it is not surprising that energetic, healthy and robust people enjoy this colour the most’. View our orange roses
Purple-violet is the colour of power. It is a mixture of cold blue and hot red. An important symbolic colour of the Catholic church, it denotes penance, seclusion, transgression, acceptance of destiny, and also desire. Planted in small patches in a garden this colour can create an unforgettable impression, but in large areas can seem threatening. See our powerful purple roses
White roses are ‘noble’. White is the colour of innocence, of the virgin bride and of peace. White flowers signify mourning and death, and are often used for coffin decoration. When touched, a snowflake melts; white rose petals, when touched, turn brown. That is why white is considered to be a metaphysical colour – it is untouchable. View our white roses
Pastel colours free endorphins, the ‘happy makers’ in our brains. In surroundings of entirely soft, pastel colours, feelings of wellbeing tend to fade unless small quantities of other colours are introduced to create the variety necessary for longer-lasting feelings of contentment.
Contouring and Colourscaping:
Roses are often simply planted in any available sunny or semi-sunny spot in the garden, with no sense of grouping. Obviously, garden layout or grouping by colour has no influence on the performance of roses, but a well-thought-out arrangement can greatly enhance their impact. With this in mind, take a good look around your garden. Where is colour required, and at what height?