Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hydrangea Blue

Like lots of people with more creative ideas than time, I have a looong list of unfinished house projects. That doesn't seem to stop me from brainstorming about the next project though...

So, one of the things I'd like to tackle this summer is a mini-makeover of my front porch. Just some fairly simple cosmetic things, but not anything requiring rebuilding . One of the simplest things that I want to do is repaint the front door, and change the color scheme a bit. While I'm at it, I will probably paint the vintage metal glider on the porch, and spruce up the throw pillows. I've had a coral-red front door for about ten years now, and while I love the color, I'm longing for something a little different. Something soothing and serene, but a little bit funky too.

Photo of SMITHY'S rails (and our red door) by LOUIS CAHILL.

Naturally, I've been pacing back and forth in the front yard with a couple of Benjamin Moore fan decks, drawing strange looks from the neighbors, and the color range that I keep coming back to is mid-blue. A stroll in the back garden helped clarify the idea: the color I'm looking for is a hydrangea blue.

In case you've ever wondered, there are about 3 Benjamin Moore colors that could fit the bill, depending on the depth of color you prefer. (Yes, I held a hydrangea blossom up the the fan deck.) In the Classic Colors fan deck, Aqua Marina 816 is the best match, but the lighter Swiss Blue 815, or the deeper Brazilian Blue 817 could also be in the correct family. See HERE.

Here's what the Benjamin Moore site has to say about blue in their Color Associations section:
"Blue is non-threatening, and is a symbol of trust and longevity. It is refreshing, soothing, calm, and dependable."

And, if you're looking for the real deal, here are a couple of great resources. Wilkerson Mill Gardens is an amazing and informative mail order nursery which specializes in hydrangeas. They are only shipping plants through the end of May, then will resume shipping in the fall when the weather cools off again. I still haven't made it to their retail location, but if you are in the metro Atlanta area, I understand it is well worth the drive to check out the nursery.

Another mail order favorite is Nurseries Caroliniana. They have many pages of hydrangeas in their catalog, in addition to an amazing variety of other plants, and I've been very happy with plants purchased from them.

Although some of the their links aren't working at the moment, The American Hydrangea Society is another good source of information.

Renowned plantsman Michael Dirr has a book on hydrangeas HERE.

And for more general info, the National Arboretum has a page dedicated to hydrangeas.


Silly Monkey said...

A whole house in 817 would be awesome! But you're just doing to the door, right? Will the rest of the house remain the same color?

My front door is sort of that shade, while the rest of the house leans more to the aqua side. Have you decided on one yet?

Great Dame said...

I agree, I'd love to have a whole house that color. Unfortunately, that particular project is a long way down the road. Sometime, maybe 20+ years ago, a previous owner put vinyl siding over the old wooden lap siding of the entire house. So, while I absolutely hate the fakeness of vinyl, I'll admit that it is awfully easy to care for. One of these days I'll get rid of the vinyl, but until then I've got a light beige house!! And the front door is going to be blue SOON - I'm still looking at colors.

Silly Monkey said...

I'm that way with my new windows. I hate that they aren't wood on the outside (they are aluminum-clad wood). They are, like you said, so fake--and souless. But I know that I'm going to enjoy NOT painting them every year.

My old house had aluminum siding. It was old, white, and dingy. I ended up painting it blue, and the neighbors were so grateful.