It is hard to imagine a slogan which did more to harm California agricultural interests and gardening enthusiasm than the slogan on this sign.
I am not a drought denier. I am the wife of an engineer. The kind of man who harnessed creativity to science to make real things which never existed outside a dream. Inventions hard to roll out on the tongue, like automated video imagery database using photogammetry. Gerry has accomplished feats I shall never fully comprehend. But observing him solve problems for 40 years, he taught me that scientific opinion is not a firm monument in the way of the 10 Commandments. Observations change. Goals change. Knowledge changes. The more knowledge man obtains- the more profound the case for God's existence.
|The sage green wall is the perfect foil for 'Love and Wishes' Salvia (from the Sunset Collection), milkweed and the monarch butterfly|
California history may record 2015 as the year of the year of California's drought-induced clinical garden depression. On signs and billboards, paid for by the taxpayer, that "Brown is the new green. " Hogwash. Who says? Science. The color spectrum. The color wheel.
In 1666, Sir Isaac Newton looked up from his study of falling apples to rationally arrange the structural relationship of colors to each other. Since then, the study of color is of encyclopedic range. However, not until the great water panic of 2015, has man panicked into hallucinating that brown and green are interchangable. Here's the truth:
Greens are composed of differing portions of blue and yellow.
According to Wikipedia "Brown is a composite color which can be produced by combining red, yellow and black, or by a combination of orange and black."
|Brown squirrel. Green lawn.|
Which is the ideal to predominate in a garden? Isn't it cheerier to see the brown squirrel leaping across a green lawn than it were a green rodent scampering across brown thatch?
In Ode: Intimations of Immortality From Recollections of Early Childhood, Williams Wordsworth did not reflect on love in a scratchy hayfield. Rather he wrote:
What thought the radiance which was once so bright
Be now forever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower
We will grieve not, father find
Strength in what remains behind
Brown has its honored place in gardens. Brown tree trunks, branches and composting leaves lead the eyes through the garden, leaving us in contemplative rest. But beware: brown in the garden should be like black in a home. Not so much as to be oppressive.
|One of my favorite brown is compost tea for the garden|
The drought humbled us. The cost of water made us rethink our gardens. But it did not kill our desire for beautiful spaces. Instead, it makes us crave the sustaining beauty of gardens even more.
|The Celebration Garden at the Huntington|
Until we meet again, thank YOU for all You do to make the world more beautiful.