The Characteristics of Colors

How does this shade of green make you feel?

Earlier, we briefly touched on the use of color schemes in interior design. There is actually a science behind which colors work best in certain rooms or design styles and it’s based on psychology. Most decorators know that how we perceive color can be very personal and emotionally charging. They can make us feel a whole range of emotions, from calm to edgy, happy to sad.

It’s important to use colors and shades that are right for you and those that you live with. Here’s a quick guide of which characteristics a few different colors represent:

Gray: classic. Those who gravitate to it are intelligent and disciplined. It’s elegant and works well with most colors. Warm gray paired with other warm colors create a lively and inviting space.

Black: elegance, mystery and power (although too much can be depressing). Consider using black as an accent color to add drama to your room.

Green: calm and relaxing. Those who like green are said to believe in balance, stability and persistence. Bring energy to a room by painting it a shade of lime green.

Yellow: happiness, optimism, inspiration and summer. Pale yellow brings a sunny feel to a space without being overwhelming.

Red: among the most psychologically stimulating of colors. It is the color of confidence and creates excitement and energy. It brings to mind passion, energy and courage.

The Coziness of Aqua and Brown

We’ve been blogging a lot recently about landscape and garden design, as well as the different types of flowers and greenery that you may want to include in your own outdoor paradise. Well, I’d like to spend a little bit of focus on interior design elements this week. One important aspect of which is color schemes.

A good color scheme will bring your home’s interior together. How one goes about choosing a color scheme usually reflects their personality and tastes. If only it could be as easy as just picking your favorite colors and then painting.

Better Homes and Gardens just published a really nice article on the popular “in-style” color schemes that really work well together. Here is one of my favorites…

Aqua & Brown

“Warm and soothing doesn’t have to be boring. An aqua coverlet and crisp white sheets keep the room on the fresh side of cozy.”

Traditional English Landscape at Greenwich’s Old Mill Farm

For a truly magnificent showcase of traditional English garden design here in southern Connecticut, one need not look further than the Old Mill Farm in Greenwich.

The landscape is a James Doyle creation and uses an array of horticultural features, including herbaceous borders, rose garden, folly, maze, chess set, parterre, topiaries and water features.

“Old Mill Farm is one of the last great estates in Greenwich,” says Doyle about the estate. “My clients and I have tried to create a balance between architecture and horticulture.”

A favorite feature is the flank pool lined with Fastigiata at the entrance of the estate.

Simple structural plantings serve to accent the private Tudor estate, designed by architect Charles Lewis Bowman in 1926.

An arbor blanketed with pink “New Dawn” roses makes quite an enchanting pathway.


On-Site Container Gardening

Warmer days are approaching (finally) and we are closer to the last potential frost date. On-site container gardening begins in late April. Marvin Gardens’ containers are always low maintenance and tolerant of high neglect. Please call Amabel at (203) 544-2020  or email to schedule your appointment and make your color/plant selection. On-site fees are $25 per container (includes composted dirt) plus retail cost of plants. Minor fuel surcharge applies.

Grow your own Meyer Lemon Tree

I just posted earlier today about some different foliage that Marvin Gardens featured at this year’s Philadelphia International Flower Show. That made me think about all of the other plants that we featured, of which my favorite has to be the Meyer Lemon Tree.

Meyer Lemon Trees bear large, juicy, thick-skinned lemons at an early age. But even if there were no lemons to bear, with its glossy leaves, white flowers and intense fragrant, it would still be attractive enough to grow anyway. And if space is an issue for you, they are small enough for urban balconies and limited-space gardens.

Caring for a Meyer Lemon Tree…

Most single citrus tree should be pruned so that it is smaller at the top, and bigger at the bottom, allowing for more surface area to receive sunlight. The popular instructional website actually has a great article on how to care for a Meyer Lemon Tree.

One more thing…if you like to add a little lemon to your water, once you harvest your tree (and prior to pruning, of course) you can freeze your fresh squeezed lemon juice in ice cube trays. This is a terrific way to serve water with a hint of tart lemon juice. If you’re interested in more info on how you can grow your own Meyer Lemon Tree, contact us here at Marvin Garden.

Succulents and Sedum

Are you familiar with succulents and how they can enhance your home garden?


Succulents have the unique ability to retain lots of water, which makes them great for dry soil or arid climates. Succulents come in many varieties too. In fact, Marvin Gardens recently featured a popular succulent called Echeveria at the world-renown Philadelphia International Flower Show.

Also featured were sedum, also known as “stonecrop”. Low-growing sedum is the perfect type of foliage to add to something like a rock garden at your home, whereas the higher-growing variety of sedum makes a great addition to a perennial border. Sedum is pretty easy to care for, attracts a lot of butterflies, and like other succulents, tolerates dry soil.

Succulents should usually be planted in the spring and depending on the variety should be spaced from 6 to 24 inches apart. It’s really a great garden foliage to have here in southern Connecticut with our many damp spring days complimented by dry spells in the summer. For more info on how to use succulents to accent your home, give Marvin Gardens a call!

More of La Fiorentiana…

La Fiorentina is such a beautiful place, we couldn’t resist giving you a few more shots this absolutely gorgeous place.

At the request of the villa’s owner Therese de Beauchamp, circa 1917, writer/architect-landscape gardener Ferdinand Bac sought to better distinguish the entrance with a kind of monumental pillar enclosure.

When interior decorator Billy Baldwin designed the interior for Mr. and Mrs. Harding Lawrence in the 1960’s, he used every imaginable shade of blue – from the sofa pillows to the checkerboard floor.

What are your thoughts on Baldwin’s vision (below)?

"There's a deep respect for good design whether it be of man or nature, old or new, indigenous or imported. It's all a part of the young vibrant American lifestyle the Lawrences have brought to La Fiorentina. And La Fiorentina, with reason, is absolutely delighted." - Billy Baldwin