Saturday, November 19, 2011

Crossing the Line

This weekend I'm crossing the line.

If you haven't noticed by now, I love orange roses.  From peach to rust, and everything in between, I have an affinity for orange.  But I may be going a bit too far!

Pat Austin

This weekend I'm painting my bedroom orange!  Ha!  It tickles me just to write those words!

Not a sweet peach, and not dayglo orange, but a dark burnt orange.  Still, I'm crossing the line.

If I had any intention of ever selling my house, I would not paint any of my walls the color orange!  That is just too bold for most people.  White, beige, and tan are acceptable.  Not orange!  But, I don't have any intention of selling, so why not?  This color makes me happy, and so I'm going to be bold and brave and courageous.

Bengal Tiger

There's a line in gardening, too.  If your realtor says something like, "Nice home, but you need to remove about 100 roses before we put it on the market", you know you've crossed the line.  Or if people come to tour your garden and all they can say is "Wow, this must take a lot of work!", or if you build a permanent, unusual garden feature that may not be to other's liking, you have crossed the line.

I've crossed the line in my garden.

But what would Sissinghurst be without its famous White Garden?  Or Arley hall without those towering trimmed trees?  Or Versailles without its - well, everything!  OK, Versailles is way over the line!  And I'm not just talking about formal gardens, either.  For example, I've seen Starr Gideon Kempf's Sculpture Garden in Colorado Springs, and it crosses the line, too.  Big time!

About Face

We rarely show our personality in our homes because we're stopped by convention.  An orange wall is not conventional.  We rarely show our personality in our gardens, either, because we're stopped by this same sense of convention.  A lawnless garden is not conventional.  It crosses a line.  Knot gardens cross a line.  Prairie plantings could be considered unconventional.  Even clipped hedges may be a line some wouldn't want to cross!

Perle d'Or

Some think I cross the line with so many roses in my garden, but I don't think that at all.  Well, maybe I go up to it, but I don't cross it!  I don't spray my roses.  And I don't cry over a little blackspot, just like I don't cry over dead daffodil foliage.  They are treated like any other plant (well, almost), so I consider them inside the line.  Don't argue with me here.

But, I knew I had crossed the line when I started the catenary.  It's a feature most would not want to keep.

Like orange walls.

Tell me, have you crossed the line in your garden?


  1. Holley, I am on your team, I do exactly what I want in those areas where I can. I have a coffee brown kitchen, and a teal guestroom. I might not live here forever, but its nothing that a few coats of offwhite won't cure, and I love it. I've lived my whole life this way, from paint colors to job choices to traveling and not only does it make me a happier person, it makes me a more interesting one as well! Good on ya! ps. I painted a bright mediterranean orange focus wall in a friends apartment once.. it looked spectacular.

  2. A czemu nie, dom też może być pomarańczowy :-). Róże tego koloru uwielbiam. Pozdrawiam

  3. I say do what pleases you. I'm here for life also. I might as well enjoy what I want. As long as I don't abuse my neighbors with what I want, I feel it's ok. I love the Roses you post on here.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  4. I must say that the color you are painting sounds gorgeous...I think orange in the garden makes for a focal point and it certainly evokes summer and warmth...I love it in my garden...I personally don't think I have crossed the line, but if I put in another veg bed next yr, I believe I may reach the line...just put in another small one this fall due to space issues but really need another big one...maybe...

  5. What a great post, Holley! People who cross the line make life more interesting! I am not a fan of the orange, but there is nothing in your pictures that I wouldn't like!

  6. Holley, BRAVOOO..., I applaud you for crossing the line in your bedroom and in the garden! I feel most gardens are way too conventional including my own and therefore often boring. I am a big believer that the personality of a gardener or a homeowner should come through the way they design their gardens and their homes. Certainly we have to be conventional sometimes like in your example when we paint a house that goes on the market to be sold, but why for heavens sake do we need to be people-pleaser all the time instead of pleasing us and fill our heart with joy?

  7. Jess - I have always admired people that would travel where ever they felt like going. You keep living like that! I bet your friend's orange wall did look spectacular!

    Giga - haha I haven't thought about painting the outside orange! Although, I do have a bright yellow door, and my husband makes fun of it! I like it.

    Cher - I don't know why we're all so worried about convention when it comes to little things like paint color! Wouldn't it be much more fun if everyone had green or purple or orange or yellow rooms?

    Donna - You go ahead and reach that line. Then you can even cross it, if you want! :) Even though taking out gardens is not as easy as changing paint color, if the need arises.

    Tatyana - I think most people like pink roses, and shy away from the orange ones. For some reason, I don't have a lot of pink roses in my garden, even though I think pink flowers are gorgeous.

    Christina - Your garden is certainly not boring! But you make a good point - I don't know why we don't do the things that fill us with joy. Paint, and gardens, are such simple pleasures!

  8. Our spare bedroom is painted always feels warm, bright and sunny.

  9. Holley, this is so great! We always brag about what a nation of individualists we are, but really...we're not, so much. So go for it! Enjoy that burnt orange paint color as much as you'll enjoy your catenary.

    When I first moved to Albuquerque I lived downtown right in between two neighborhoods--the wealthy Country Club area and a poor, run-down one. The wealthy area was all very nice and pleasant to walk in, but I don't remember a single house in particular. In the poorer area, one family had painted their house bright purple and mounted a statue of a prehistoric fish skeleton on the roof...And one older man who loved roses had his whole yard lined with different kinds that he tended every day. It wasn't really good garden design, but his passion radiated from every single rose. All to say, you can stay within the lines and be completely forgettable, or cross them and be yourself and be worth remembering. I don't know that I've crossed any lines yet in the garden--I'm still figuring out where they are--but I wholeheartedly applaud those who have!

  10. Every time I ask my husband to bring me home some more compost or mulch, he thinks I've crossed the line! Ha! Can we ever have too much compost or mulch? I think not. But since we are Aggies in this house, burnt orange would most certainly be CROSSING THE LINE! I have what I prefer to call "terracotta" walls in my master and guest baths. I can get away with terracotta, but not burnt orange. Tee hee....

  11. Stacy - I once lived next door to an older couple that painted their house every few years - in whatever color paint was on sale at the time! It went from purple to green to pink while I lived there! It was a hoot, but I never understood why their house needed painting so often.

    Toni - How funny! My husband said something about it being UT colors! Since I'm a UT Tyler graduate, I suppose I'm fine with it being burnt orange. But I have some Aggie friends, and they won't allow orange anywhere near them! I don't even think they drink orange juice! LOL

  12. You go girl! You are so right about everything in this post! I am sitting here and you have literally inspired me to go through with painting my bedroom walls the darker blue I have been thinking about for months. We do play it safe...thank you for reminding us all that it is ok to be unconventional and to allow ourselves to be truly creative in our lives! Wow! Please post pics of your orange walls....It is going to look great! Cheers! Nic

  13. Such an interesting post, Holley, and thanks for the link to your post about your catenary - I'd somehow missed reading it, and it's great! And I learned a new word. As for orange, I used to hate it, but now I'm starting to love it in the garden - either my taste is maturing, or I'm going senile, not sure. Finally, I wouldn't cross an arbitrary lion (he might bite), but arbitrary lines are made to be crossed.

  14. You're really making me think! I guess I'm unconventional in a conservative sort of way, always worried what others will think, you know? I have no grass on my property. In our last house I painted the dining room ceiling a beautiful shade of purple and the master bathroom a deep, deep cornflower blue. Haven't painted anything inside this house yet (gardening took over my life early on), but the outside is a deep green not quite as yellow as avocado. Never a favorite but I love it on the house. Speaking of orange, I avoided it in the garden, thinking it would clash with the pinks of the OGRs, but lo and behold a mis-ID'd orange daylily popped up, and they are glorious! They really POP! And a few weeks ago I saw Pat Austin for the first in person. Golly, that's a gorgeous rose - orange or not. I want it!!

  15. Cute perspective. Not to much if that is what you like and enjoy. But the resale issue always raises it ugly head.

  16. My Garden Diaries - Oh, I think a dark blue would be fabulous! I hope you do it! I finished yesterday, and I am loving the orange - my husband is not as convinced of its fabulousness - but I'm pleased with it.

    Lyn - People seem to have very strong feelings about orange. I used to not love it, either. Maybe I'm going senile, too!

    Sherry - Your last home's paint colors sound scrumptious. Maybe that's why I don't have many pinks - I think it will clash with the oranges - but I am learning that they go better together than it sounds. I hope you get Pat Austin. She's a beauty.

    GWGT - Yes, I wouldn't want to have to paint over everything if I were thinking of selling! And beiges can be absolutely elegant.

  17. Now I know why the orange day lilies were your favorite color!

    Look at it this way. There are others who cross the line and they will be the ones who will purchase your home some day.

    Happy Thanksgiving if I don't get on here to commnt on postings this week.

  18. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden
    Holley, You always have such an interesting perspective on things. I would say that I am always trying to push boundaries. I always try to cross the line.
    An orange bedroom will be wonderful. If it were me, I would keep the furniture cream. I would hang floral artwork on the wall or have some floral fabric prints in accent cushions or drapes. Have you seen the book: Romantic Style by Selina Lake. Based on your garden, I think that you would love the interior design style in this book.

  19. Good for you!! It's so nice to see someone enjoying their home and not feeling pressured to play it safe. You'll love your orange wall. I painted a wall of our bathroom orange and simply love it. It's like a constant ray of sunshine in that room. We may have to repaint if we ever sell but in the meantime I'm enjoying my home my way.

  20. Orange is one of my favorite colors in the garden. I have noticed some orange slipping into my clothing too but very subtly. I think your bedroom will be beautiful. I wish you had scanned the paint sample so we could all see the color.

  21. It's just paint and your walls should be whatever color makes you feel good. Walls, like hairstyles, are easy to change--thank goodness.

  22. I've crossed the line in the garden. We have no lawn. I choose to think that's a selling point :) In the house, we have a cherry-wine red accent wall in the living room, a yellow kitchen, a royal blue accent wall in the master bedroom, etc. So go for the color if it makes you happy. Life is too short to hold yourself back for fear of what other people think (unless it's unethical or illegal to have an orange wall :))

  23. My kitchen is Orange in colour! hahahha...

  24. Hi Holley,
    I'm sure my neighbors think I have crossed the line...with dozens of agaves and palms in the front yard. But they have only bare, brown lawns at this point. I vote life over death.
    Even if gardeners do cross the line into an 'addiction', it's such a positive one:
    1)we provide the neighborhood with extra oxygen, butterflies, pollinating insects, birds, wildlife and beauty.
    2) we provide ourselves with the joy of nurturing plants, flowers, insects, and birds
    3) we give the Earth some great soil, compost, and a natural enrironment like it should be
    4) a realtor would fall over dead if they saw how many plants I have in my backyard. But see, I would sell my house and garden to only someone who loved it as much as I.
    Problem solved.
    BTW: I love your new header photo. Wow!
    David/ :-)

  25. Can't wait to see your orange bedroom. I have always been attracted to the spice colors. When I was a teenager, I painted my bedroom orange. It was almost the same color as the first rose in your post. I don't think I've done anything unconventional in my garden other than we turned a grill into a planter. But I'm always looking for something unique items to put in it.

  26. Marcia - Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! Yes, orange daylilies - they are beautiful to me!

    Jennifer - Thanks so much for the book recommendation! I have been needing to get more books to read, so I'll be sure to include this one. As for the room, I have a lot of white in there, a printed bedcover, and a brown rug to ground it all. It really needed the orange!

    Marguerite - I've always thought bathrooms need to be cheery. It sets the mood for the rest of the day! Glad to know I'm not the only orange lover!

    carolyn - I didn't think about scanning the color. It's Valspar's Mulling Spices. Although my complexion looks best in cool pinks, I wear a lot of orange!

    StoBlogger - Hmmm..., my hairstyle doesn't change often! I should work on that!

    Sheila - It will be interesting to see if your lawnless yard will be the wave of the future. I know it takes less water than a perfect green lawn, but a lot of people want their yard to look just like their neighbors!

    Malar - haha I'm so glad! I bet it gives you a lot of joy!

    David - Great points! Still, I doubt you would ever find someone that loves it as much as you! Now, there's a business opportunity for someone - matching homes for gardening buyers and sellers!

  27. Jane - I think that's why I love orange. When my daughter was a teenager, I told her she could paint her room any color. She chose orange. I was appalled! haha We compromised with orange wainscoting!

  28. Wow! I love that Bengal Tiger, but I'm not sure I would be able to get as enthusiastic about an orange wall. In the house, I do tend to go for the more subdued tones. Maybe that's because we tend to move every few years, and I have learned not to cross the line, at least, not inside. On the outside I tear up lawn, and plant veggies in with my flowers, and put rocks all over the place.
    But when I need extra color inside the house I just pick some flowers.

  29. Carol - Bengal Tiger is very unusual, isn't it? I can certainly understand subdued tones, especially if you move a lot. Sounds like you put a lot of creative energy into your gardens, though! You have definitely crossed the line there - and I bet it is fabulous!

  30. Crossing the line ... I think it all depends on where YOU believe the line is! For me, orange walls would be too much, but to you my love of vanilla white walls is probably dead dull. But too many roses - how many is too many? Roses are beautiful, how can anyone ever have too many?

  31. GardeningBlog - haha Spoken like a true rose lover! I don't think anyone could ever have too many roses, but I'm afraid there are people out there that don't share our same point of view!

  32. how could one ever cross the line with a garden?
    even with the catenary?
    You're garden looks amazing from the photos I have seen.
    and it does look like a lot work! but what a payoff!
    you're so fortunate to have such a green thumb.
    thanks for stopping by my blog.
    i think you will appreciate this

  33. you should be out on a meadow - I do love gardens that go out on a limb, and are a bit different from the ordinary. They are the most interesting.


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