Chartreuse is the strawberry ice cream of the garden. Everybody knows what the three most common ice cream flavors are. First, there is vanilla, which pairs with just about anything. It does so, however, by not having much of a personality to begin with. Its name is synonymous with “bland.” Then there is chocolate, the flavor people have cravings for and get addicted to. These feelings are displayed proudly on coffee mugs, T-shirts, and refrigerator magnets: “Nine out of ten people like chocolate. The tenth person always lies.” “Forget love—I’d rather fall in chocolate!” In the middle of these two extremes is strawberry. It evokes stronger feelings than vanilla, but not the passion of chocolate.
And so it is with chartreuse, a fancy word for the color between green and yellow. It is much more eye-catching than green, but not as flamboyant as yellow. By occupying this middle ground, chartreuse becomes one of the most useful colors in a garden. Green is a cool color, is soothing to the eye, and calms a scene. Yellow, a warm color, has the opposite effect. Chartreuse can do either, as the situation calls for.
To read the full article and learn ways you can use chartreuse in your designs, subscribe to receive your digital copy of the newest issue of Fine Gardening magazine.
Get our latest tips, how-to articles, and instructional videos sent to your inbox.