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Flower Color Influences Human Perception and Response to Gardens

Analyzing plant colors and applying that knowledge to garden design is a major project this year at Flowers by the Sea, our Northern California horticultural farm and online plant nursery that publishes Salvia Guru. (Please see "Garden Design Easier with Online Color Tools" in this issue.)

It's well known that different colors of flowers attract different kinds of bird and insect pollinators. However, how do flower colors affect human response to gardens?

Being immersed in color and questions about its use, we are drawn to the commonsense color advice of Dr. William Johnson, Texas A&M University's Horticultural Agent for its Galveston Agrilife Extension. Dr. Johnson says floral color shapes human perception as well as emotional response. For example, he notes that yellow flowers command attention. He adds that they provide a gentle warning to be aware and mind your footing when they are planted along garden steps. You'll find a link to his still fresh 2011 article "Flower Color Influences Human Mood" in this week's issue of Salvia Guru.

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