Ever since I installed my white garden shortly after we moved in (circa 2013), I have received so many questions asking why Maria Killam, the OG true colour expert, would prefer a white-on-white garden?
Maria, if you really love colour, why do you have an all-white garden?
It just seems somehow contradictory to my interior colour advice, which goes something like…
- colour is happy
- colour is timeless
- buy a colourful sofa
- paint your exterior a colour
- and the list goes on and on…
It’s a fine line I ride. 😉
A language for neutrals
On the one hand, I’ve invented a brand new language for neutrals, called a System for Specifying Colour. And I believe that one day this system will be the way the entire world chooses colour – paint colour, hard finishes, furnishings, decor, textiles, and more.
To be clear, this is a system, not a theory. I haven’t re-invented the science of colour. Instead, what I’ve done is created a language for describing the most useful neutrals so that anyone can learn it, and then turn around and choose colours successfully for everything in their home.
It really is a game-changer for choosing colour in your home or a client’s home (if you are a professional). Only two workshops left in 2021.
And on the other side of “Colour is Happy,” I preach advice like installing white subway tile and primarily white or cream finishes for your bathrooms and kitchens will help you achieve the most timeless look.
But wait, I’m not finished. My advice doesn’t stop here.
Colour is timeless
When it comes to decorating, I once again turn back to colour. Because colour truly is way more timeless than the trendy neutral.
It’ll make you happy.
So then why, after all of the above colourful advice, is my garden white-on-white-on-white-on-white?
Well, here’s the reason.
For years before I had my own garden, I dreamed of all the flowers being white.
I love how clean the combination of just green and white looks in a garden. And, I do add a bit of colour occasionally. Many of you know that yellow is my favorite colour so, sometimes you’ll find it in my garden too… but most everything else is WHITE!
Here’s something else. The existing vinyl siding on my house is a pale (pinky) taupe. So, the garden colours that would look good with taupe aren’t as numerous and really none of them would look as good as white. All these white flowers just relate to the white trim.
Summer morning with the sprinklers on
Have you ever seen a white garden in the evening? I also love the way a white garden appears to glow at night. It is magical.
What about a garden in your favourite colour, yellow?
It’s true… if my house were a different exterior colour, I might entertain a yellow garden. And my favourite garden designer, MaryAnne just sent me this range of yellow plant material. Sigh. So beautiful!
Stick with a single garden colour
And part of what makes this yellow garden inspiration and my all-white garden is the idea of just choosing one hue to work with – instead of multiple colours. Combining a single colour in your garden creates a bigger impact on your curb appeal.
I’m curious… are you someone who chooses a colour scheme for your garden too? Does it change what colour of mulch you choose? Does anyone coordinate your plantings with your front door colour? Let me know in the comments below…
Remember how my white-garden-realization inspired my first rule of design: boring now equals timeless later? Since landscaping isn’t my expertise, I behaved just like some of my clients do in a tile store. 😉 Even I, Maria Killam, fell victim to thinking that I needed to add in all the colours to my new garden – before MaryAnn reined me in. And I’m so glad she did.
Just like when I say (over and over again) to keep your kitchen finishes simple… Following this simple, boring rule can save you from choosing a kitchen backsplash you don’t love, for instance. The countless options of tile are like colourful flowers – screaming for your attention – each one more colourful and full of pattern. And that’s when it gets crazy and you end up with a look in your kitchen that you aren’t in love with. Don’t worry, I’m here to rein you in, too.
So, that my lovelies, is why I have an all-white garden.
I am honoured to be on the board of an amazing organization that exists to encourage and develop leadership, mentoring, education and networking opportunities for professional women in the home and furnishings industries.
WITHIT – The Women’s Leadership Development Networking Non-Profit
As a non-profit organization, WITHIT needs your help to continue growing our objective to recognize, connect, and support women in the industry. To mentor, teach and encourage those who aspire to grow their leadership, while providing the opportunity for networking and the support needed in our careers.
Please help me support this important cause that I am passionate about and purchase tickets for our annual fundraiser!
There are so many prizes you can win!