Roses are red and violets are blue—but are they, really? Roses, of course, can be found in a kaleidoscope of colors. And violets? Well, they might read a purplish blue to the eye, but they don’t actually have blue pigment. Blue, as it turns out, is one of the rarest colors to find naturally in plants and animals. Here, we take a look at the elusive shade and how you can help it find its place in the sun.
Science Specific.Why is one of the most loved colors so hard to find in the plant world? Because true-blue pigment in plants doesn’t actually exist. Optical tricks have led us to see beautiful blooms as blue; and because of this missing pigment, science reveals that less than 10 percent of the 280,000 species of flowering plants produce “blue” flowers. If you’re looking for any sort of color inspiration from nature (including blue), check out Nature’s Palette: A Color Reference System from the Natural World. (It is the expanded, 2021 edition of the resource Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours, first published in 1814.) In it, for example, you’ll find references to “Berlin blue” via sapphire, the Hepatica flower, or the feathers of a jay.
Color Wheel.Blue, which color philosophy relates to calm and tranquility, is the perfect fit for a soothing home garden. When designing and planning, consider pairing blue with its color wheel opposite: orange. And always consult your local nursery or extension for hardiness zone and regional information before planting something new.
Plant Planning.Annuals, perennials, big, and small—there are plenty of ways to infuse your garden with blue. Take up space with eye-catching blue hydrangea shrubs; they thrive in morning light, and you can maintain petal color with acidic soil. Geranium ‘Rozanne’ is a long-blooming, violet-blue flower. Delphiniums offer nearly true-blue flower spikes that are short lived and thrive in rich soil. Clematis is a beautiful climbing vine that adds softness to a sharp-edged trellis (look for ‘Crystal Fountain’). Because irises come in many colors, you can plant blue and other hues for a collected look. Select from Bearded, Reticulated, Siberian, or Japanese iris for the best blues.
Blue Daze has it right in the name. The sun-worshipping flower works well in a container or as ground cover. Cornflower is a pollinator-friendly bloom that thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. For a delicate, romantic flower, consider the forget-me-not. Because of its nostalgic name and symbolism, it makes a sweet addition to a memory garden. Late-blooming asters help ensure a blue landscape into autumn. And the crowning glory of blue blooms is the Himalayan blue poppy. Although its Tibetan origins make it difficult and fairly impractical to grow in North America, it’s not impossible. The enchanting flower reveals a shade unlike any other, and makes the true-blue destination worth the green-thumb journey.
WRITTEN BY MARESA GIOVANNIN
WRITTEN BY BLAKE MILLER
Feeling down and out these days? Don’t fret. “The good news is: you can boost your mood with uncomplicated, actionable lifestyle changes and coping skills,” says Lindsey Konchar, MSW, LGSW, and owner of Coping with Lindsey. “Self-awareness is one of the best traits a person can possess. When we are aware of our mood and how or when it changes, we can more easily get ourselves back to baseline (aka feel better, faster).” Adds Rayna Sanghvi, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist: “We can’t change our mood states without being aware of the specificity of our emotions. This could be to help change our emotions to positive, or being aware of our positive moods to incorporate gratitude and appreciation in our day-to-day life.”
Try Body Scanning.Body scanning, also known as Benson’s Technique, is a quick and easy form of mindfulness practice, says Konchar. “In layman’s terms, we use our brain to connect with internal body sensations.”
Extensive research supports that body scanning can lower anxiety and, in turn, boost your mood. In a 2019 study, emergency department patients who utilized the body scanning technique showed improved anxiety scores versus those who did not. While another study found that body scanning and the antidepressant medication Citalopram had similar effects on improving the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Luckily, body scanning is simple and “very discrete,” says Konchar. “You can do this at your work desk without anyone even noticing.” To get started, sit or lie comfortably, and bring awareness to each region of the body. Start at your feet and move up through your legs, abdomen, arms, shoulder, neck, all the way to your head. If your focus shifts, acknowledge it, and come back to the body scan.
Write a Gratitude List.Gratitude has become a bit of a buzzword, but for good reason. A study from UC Berkeley found that those who wrote gratitude letters reported significantly better mental health afterward. Studies such as this suggest that gratitude lists can be beneficial for boosting your overall mood. Just 23 percent of participants who wrote gratitude letters actually sent them; however, those who didn’t still reaped the mood-boosting benefits of gratitude.
Researchers found that approximately twelve weeks of gratitude writing would improve overall mental health. But keep at it even longer and it’ll surely result in a positive result, they say (for you, and those whom you thank).
Find Something in Your Control.“Our mood is all too often dictated by things and people other than ourselves,” says Konchar. “The fastest way to bring ourselves back to baseline is to figure out what is in our control. One of the ways to do this is to clean up your physical surroundings, which in turn, will clean up your mental mess.” According to the Association for Consumer Research, it’s common to use object ownership to satisfy psychological needs, reward oneself, and flaunt social status. But the reality is, overconsumption can ultimately have a negative effect on mood.
“Not only does too much stuff make us feel dejected, but when that stuff is disorganized, we feel out of control,” says Konchar, and that can wreak havoc on our mindset. Organizing both physical and mental spaces can leave you feeling satisfied, calm, and in a better mood overall. Take one afternoon to sort through and donate unused clothes or cleanup your office desktop. Or, make and effort to tidy up one space per day. That act can go a long way in boosting your mood for the afternoon and the future.
There is something about the heat of the summer that recalls the magic of a childhood spent outdoors. For many, summer days meant freedom, fun, and endless possibilities. As long as you were home before dark, there was no limit to the trees you could climb, the creeks you could swim, or the fields where you could play.In this issue, we celebrate the great outdoors and explore how to bring it home. From the ocean to the lake to the woods, our featured designs are woven into the natural fabric of their sites. When you live on a country property, you’re likely to encounter wildlife. Turn to our garden department for some tips on encouraging helpful critters while deterring destructive ones. Hiking trails oer opportunities for wildlife viewing, too. In our lifestyle department, we share the benefits of hiking, along with bucket-list trips and gear to support your adventures. There are plenty of hiking trails leading to breathtaking views along the west coast. Buckle up for an epic road trip along the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway/Pacific Coast Highway, which spans the coastlines of Washington, Oregon, and California. Stop along the way for super-fresh seafood, or indulge from the comfort of your home with this issue’s recipes. Featuring salmon, clams, and crab, our seafood menu is truly a catch.As always, thank you for your business, support, and friendship. If you are ever in need of professionalassistance and advice, please do not hesitate to call. You can be assured that your needs will be met with the utmost integrity and professionalism.
Want to infuse your interiors with hints ofthe great outdoors? Go green. Introducing shades of greenthroughout your home via paint, fabric, artwork, or even dishware, is a subtle nod to nature. Note the shades that occur organically in your favorite locales (ocean, forest, meadow, etc.) so your home can echo those places to
If you love squeezing every last drop out of summer, spending time outdoors is a must. Enjoy your everyday activities on the patio with an outdoor kitchen. Here, we share some considerations to keep you cooking all season long.Budget, as always, will help dictate your process and selections. Be mindful of investment and resale value if applicable to your situation. Thankfully, an outdoor kitchen is attractive to buyers and can oer great return on investment (especially post pandemic shutdowns). Once your budget is set, consider function. What is doable in your space? Where are your hookups? If you need help with a design, look for a local expert or use online resources such as Yardzen or Tilly. When making a plan, address plumbing, electricity, venting, and durability. Safety is paramount, even in a casual space. Never place a grill in an enclosed area or within ten feet of your home (per Weber grills and a host of safety organizations). You can easily spend tens of thousands of dollars having an outdoor kitchen professionally built. If that’s beyond your budget, consider some DIY solutions. Check out salvage shops for cabinets, tile, and more. Find durability and aesthetics with stainless-steel, natural stone, concrete, and tile. Thoughtful material choices will help create a space you’ll enjoy that can stand up to the elements too.If you live in a region with dramatic winter weather, weatherproof your kitchen just as you would any other exposed space. Cover a grill, empty a refrigerator, and drain any water lines before freezing temps hit.Find a happy medium between custom and DIY with buildable outdoor kitchen sets. (We love the look of the Esola outdoor kitchen set in weathered teak from Frontgate.) Online sources help you select stand-alone pieces. Finally, do a little dreaming with bonus features such as a pergola, overhead fan, outdoor TV, and Bluetooth music system
After what feels like years of neutrals in the limelight, we are stepping back into dramatics with Pantone’s color of the year: Viva Magenta. “An unconventional shade for an unconventional time,” the company writes. The world’s leading authority on color uses its expertise to help professionals and homeowners make informed decisions about upcoming trends for interiors, fashion, and branding. Here, we explore Pantone’s top pick for 2023. PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta is a bright, crimson red, chosen for its balance of power and softness. “In this age of technology, we look to draw inspiration from nature and what is real,” writes Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta descends from the red family, and is inspired by the red of cochineal, one of the most precious dyes belonging to the natural dye family as well as one of the strongest and brightest the world has known.” The company goes on to write, “In this year’s Color of the Year selection process, Pantone observed a heightened appreciation and awareness of nature represented by countless lifestyle trends. We’re incorporating more living things into our homes, such as plants, florals, living walls, and restorative outdoor spaces. We’re finding newfound enjoyment in travel, sports, and outdoor recreation after pausing these activities during the pandemic. We’re more careful to protect our bodies as a result of the public health crises—we look to apply and ingest trusted, life-giving ingredients. All of these lifestyle trends speak to the heartiness of natural forces.”Go bold and add a lush velvet couch in this color, or start small with pillows or florals. With Viva Magenta, a little goes a long way.PANTONE COLOR THAT PACKS A PUNCHviva magentaRobin Cushing1-250-415-1510www.RobinCushing.comBUYING - VANCOUVER ISLAND - SELLINGColdwell Banker Oceanside Real EstatePowered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org)
When sourcing color, there is plenty of inspiration in the natural world. Sure, you can get custom paint, generated by computers, in minutes. But that color code was likely inspired by a hue that appears organically. Explore the simple beauty and color of natural dyes made from everyday items you might already have in your kitchen or garden.The list of sources that yield beautiful colors is robust; a quick Google search reveals the top eighty-five! Some easy-to-find fruits, vegetables, and spices include: beets, avocados, roses, cherries,blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, turmeric, saffron, tea, coffee, dandelion roots, spinach, onion, and black beans. Make your own dyes or buy prepared packets online. Minnesota-based Northern Dyer offers a grow-your-own natural dye garden kit with seeds, starting pots, soil pellets, and a how-to guide for growing plants that will ultimately make ideal dyes. Want to learn more about how to DIY? There are great hardcover resources such as The Modern Natural Dyer: A Comprehensive Guide to Dyeing Silk, Wool, Linen and Cotton at Homeand Natural Color: VibrantPlant Dye Projects for Your Home and Wardrobe. Locally, look for fiber collectives, which may offer classes or have resources for materials. Linen, wool, silk, and cotton absorb colors beautifully and maintain the integrity of the back-to-basics process. Even if you don’t fancy yourselfcrafty, you can easily purchase plenty of beautiful naturally dyed decor and wardrobe pieces.While natural dye is historical, accessible, and a throwback to simple, sustainable living, it’s not known for being hardwearing. And if a piece is functional, you’ll likely want to wash it from time to time. Due to the delicate nature of natural dye, take precautions. Handwash using a gentle detergent (Synthrapol gets rave reviews because it prevents dye migration). Then, dry in the shade to avoid fading from the sun. In general, keep items with natural dye stored or displayed out of direct sunlight to preserve color. Keep rugs out of high-traffic areas and maintain them with careful vacuuming.
Robin Cushing - REALTOR® - Established 2010
Victoria BC Canada
Victoria BC Canada