Wednesday Vignette – contrast

This week’s photos are from my friend and fellow garden blogger Tamara’s (of Chickadee Gardens) new home. To say that she and her husband David have accomplished a lot during the year since they moved there, would be the understatement of the year. I’m in near disbelief over the stuff they have accomplished, and at the breakneck speed they’ve done it. But, don’t take my word for it – go check out her blog instead. She’s done a fabulous job documenting it. And I finally got to see it in person! 🙂

A longer post will eventually follow, but for now I want to pull out a couple of shots that caught my eye when I was going through the photos from my fun adventure. Both are examples of contrast – one of my favorite design considerations. I know I’ve talked about contrast before in my vignettes, but it’s just so damn powerful when done right. Actually, it doesn’t even have to be “done”. Half the time its accidental, and only really has to be noticed – which doesn’t at all take away from its power to heighten suspense, increase relational tensions, enhance and suppress both color and texture – all the while excite our sensory perceptions.


Moss and succulents... what a marvelous contradiction! And absolutely beautiful, to boot! It's not what you'd expect, and certainly shouldn't really work. And, yet it does. I really loved this!

Moss and succulents… what a marvelous contradiction! And absolutely beautiful, to boot! It’s not what you’d expect, and certainly shouldn’t really work. And, yet it does. I really loved this!

Here, a columnar apple tree is waiting for its forever home, and looking artistically composed against the industrial sleekness of the corrugated steel, while doing so. The rigid linearity of one, offsets the gnarly forms of the other. If you're looking for winter interest, look no further.

Here, a columnar apple tree is waiting for its forever home, and looking artistically composed against the industrial sleekness of the corrugated steel, while doing so. The rigid linearity of one, offsets the gnarly forms of the other. If you’re looking for winter interest, look no further.

Come to think of it, the preposition ‘contra’ means just that – ‘in opposition to’, or ‘against’. Whether verbal or visual, contrast adds that hidden dimension to our perceptions that brings drama and excitement to what we see and experience. It thrills me every time!

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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16 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – contrast

  1. Peter Herpst says:

    Two great examples of contrast from Tamara’s garden. They sure have don a lot in a short time! The succulent/moss picture is great fun and quintessentially pacific northwest, pointing to our dry summers and wet winters. My WV is here

  2. I am in awe of what they’ve done…super human powers! My WV is the opposite of your mossy one…

  3. Alison says:

    I love the contrast of the moss and the succulent. I think I have a few examples of that here too, especially at this time of year. I have moss springing up everywhere. I’m hoping my WV will make you chuckle.

  4. It’s so great that you got to see Tamara’s garden in person! I look forward to seeing more of it through your eyes. Here’s my brief WV:

  5. The apple tree against the corrugated steel is stunning. I can’t wait to see her new garden in person!
    Here’s my WV:

  6. Evan says:

    The sedum and moss are stunning together. It’s not so odd, from my perspective, as I’ve seen our native sedums growing together with tough mosses like this, but the colors are fantastic. No vignette from me this week. I’m trying out a once-weekly post. Maybe I’ll make Wednesday my posting day so I can include a vignette.

    • annamadeit says:

      The only native sedum I know of is Sedum oreganum. You mean there are more? How exciting!! As for a weekly post, that’s one of the reasons why I started the WV meme. I was working so much that I was afraid I wouldn’t blog much at all if I didn’t have that weekly routine. Looking back, that prediction turned out to be rather true. Having a weekly commitment, has definitely helped! Anyway, I’ll miss you if you don’t, so I hope you pick Wednesday for your posts! 🙂

  7. hb says:

    I’m amazed at how some gardeners can do so much when I struggle to get a potted plant in the ground. What they have done is simply amazing.

  8. Sweet Anna…thank you for the lovely shout out! We were THRILLED to have you over and THANK YOU for the crape myrtle, it will be treasured for decades. The sedum thing – they are so wonderful and so easy for us here in the NW. There are several native ones, we can talk another time but just a few are Sedum spathulifolium, S. divergens, S. oreganum, S. stenopetalum, S. spath ‘Cape Blanco’….etc…

    Fab plants that can spread, can handle the wet of winters and dry of summers. Some can handle mucho shade, too.

    Again, thank you Anna!

    • annamadeit says:

      I was just as thrilled to see you and David, and the girls happy in your new home. You two are amazing! I’m anxious to learn more about the shade-tolerant succulents. I will probably plant ALL of them!

      As for the Natchez, it was the best housewarming gift I could think of. After all, you were the one who first let me know such a beauty even existed! And, I figured you probably missed it a lot, after having to leave it behind. I’d tell you to love it well, but I already know you will! ❤

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