Fiery Red Natives

Red Tulip-Declaration of Love

 Happy New Year!  Chinese New Year that is.

Today is Chinese New Year and we are celebrating the Year of the Dragon; specifically the Water Dragon.  A  year of courage, prosperity and love is here for 2012.

And today’s Exploring Color post is all about RED.   What a perfect color to celebrate the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dragon since red is an important color in Chinese tradition.

The Dragon is the mightiest of the signs of the Chinese zodiac.  Dragons symbolize dominance and ambition.

The tulip and amaryllis pictured here have meanings that correspond to the meaning of red making them a perfect symbol for this  fiery color.


It can be a fascinating game, noticing how any person with vitality and vigor will have a little splash of red in a costume, in a room, or in a garden…  –Edgar Cayce


Red is one of the additive primary colors.  It is the warmest of all colors, and is said to be a very emotionally intense color.  Several studies have indicated that red carries the strongest reaction of all the colors, and catches people’s attention.  Red enhances human metabolism, increases respiration and raises blood pressure.  I’ll remember that on a cold day.

Amaryllis-Pride, Splendid Beauty


Various Meanings

*Red is the color of fire and blood.  It can be associated with energy, war, anger danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, beauty and love.
*Wear a red accent piece of clothing when you want to present yourself as bold and dynamic.
*In Chinese traditions, red is associated with weddings where brides traditionally wear red dresses.  Special red packets are used during the Chinese New Year to give monetary gifts.
*In Japan, red is the color symbolizing a heroic figure.
*In parts of Africa, red is a color representing death. Because of this, the Red Cross has changed its colors to green and white in those regions of Africa.
*The meaning of the phrase “caught red-handed” could either be caught in an act of crime or caught with the blood of murder still on one’s hands.
*The expression “seeing red” means anger, and is said to probably come from the natural flush of the cheeks.



In heraldry, red is used to indicate courage.

With the rise of socialism in the mid-19th century, red was used to symbolize and describe revolutionary movements.

The Greeks and the Hebrews considered red a symbol of love and sacrifice.


Red Garden

Fun Facts

*Statistics have shown that red cars are more likely to be involved in accidents.  Of course driving a red car is said to mean you are sexy, speedy, have high-energy and are dynamic.
*Red is one of the most common colors found on national flags.
*Red brings text and images to the foreground.
*Advertisers and designers use red as an accent color to stimulate people to buy or make quick decisions.
*Red is widely used to indicate danger or emergency (high voltage signs, stop signs, fire equipment, traffic lights).
*Red is also commonly associated with energy, so you can use it when promoting, games, cars and items related to sports.  No wonder most sports teams, products and companies use red in their logos.
*The red Ruby is the traditional Fortieth Wedding Anniversary gift.



Small doses of red can often be more effective when using this strong color.  Multiple shades of red mixed with pink or orange can make a great combination.  The complementary color to red is green.

Light red represents joy, sexuality, passion, sensitivity, and love.
Pink signifies romance, love, and friendship.
Dark red is associated with vigor, willpower, rage, anger, leadership, courage, longing, malice, and wrath.
Reddish-brown is associated with harvest and fall.


There are many hues of red to choose from so if bright red is not for you in your garden, pink might do.  My red garden (pictured above) is in full sun.  It has a bit of yellow and orange in it for balance, but I love the darker reds all mixed together.  Some people feel red is too brash in their garden.  I like to be daring and mix red, orange and purple.

This week is also Wildflower Wednesday with Gail@Clay and Limestone.  I have many red flowers in the garden, but I thought I would highlight only my native reds in the mosaics as we explore all about RED!  After all they shine in the garden for the critters that love them.


These are spring native plants that grace my garden with their range of red hues.  Starting from the top left and moving clockwise is red yarrow, red trillium, pink trillium, red twig dogwood (showing off its beautiful bark), columbine, Louisiana iris, creeping phlox, red Doll’s Eye, another columbine, tiarella and in the center is a pink yarrow.



Summer and fall red natives are plentiful.  You will see gaillardias, monardas , tall phlox, echinaceas, hibiscus, helenium, newer coreopsis cultivars, Joe Pye weed, lobelia, winterberries and beautiful viburnum and blueberry shrubs sporting every shade of red leaf.  Oh and I just love the red dragonflies that grace my garden in summer and fall.





Recently the sky has been giving up more reds and pinks.  Both at sunset (top) and sunrise (bottom).  I love the pinkish hues mixed with oranges and purples in the sky.  What a beautiful palette to greet and end my day.   You can click on any image to see a larger view.


An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere, while a pessimist sees only the red stoplight… the truly wise person is colorblind. ~Albert Schweitzer




Next Up on the Blog:  The Word 4 Wednesday (W4W) post on the 25th is reflection.  Hope you will drop by to celebrate my 100th post as I reflect on the past year of my life in the garden.  Donna@Garden Walk, Garden Talk hosts W4W.  Next Monday I will be highlighting the color blue.  My latest post at Beautiful Wildlife Garden is my Ode To A Toad.  Oh and in case you missed it and want to know even more about me, check out my friend Marcia Richards’ latest interview of me at her blog.  It was a interesting interview and lots of fun.


I am joining Katarina@Roses and Stuff for her Blooming Friday meme.  This week is Metamorphosis or change in appearance.  The winter sky shows such a change in color.  Colors that I do not see in other seasons.  As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.  So drop by to check out all the blooms this Friday.

Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.

All content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.




    • Donna says:

      I also am not a red person but use it as an accent in my house and in the garden as it feels right…I especially love some of the red natives in late summer and red lilies are gorgeous…I am more into the pink side of red in the garden…

  1. Esther Montgomery says:

    I was pleased when I heard this will be the Year of the Dragon. I know Western and Chinese ideas about the meanings of the Year Creatures do not coincide but, none the less, it seems very encouraging and cheerful. It makes me optimistic about the months ahead.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Donna says:

    So glad you liked the post and I do love the Chinese meanings of the year. I find them far more interesting…I too was optimistic…I also have a fondness for dragons 🙂

  3. tina says:

    Red is such a passionate color and so controversial in the garden for some. I recently read a good post on red from my Japanese blogger friend Sapphire. I thought it most cool that coffins in ancient times were coated in red-to keep out demons. Here is her post: to go along with yours. It’s so interesting to me to learn all these things about colors and all. That’s why I love blogging!

  4. Alistair says:

    Donna, our front garden used to be so red I felt we were over the top at times, I will take solace in all the positive things which you tell me today regarding this vibrant colour. Not so sure about red and green being complimentary, what is it Myra always quotes, Red and green should never be seen except upon an Irish queen.

    • Donna says:

      Alistair, tell Myra I love her quote…never have been able to keep these color wheels and such straight…I say if you like it put the colors together.

  5. Cat says:

    I like your red garden, Donna. Red is helpful in our hot gardens…the color can stand up to the intense light of summer and it attracts the hummingbirds!

    • Donna says:

      Cat, I think I first planted red flowers for the hummers…glad you liked the red garden. it has been a labor of love to find the right flowers for this hot, dry, sunny spot.

  6. Laura@PatioPatch says:

    So many reds I was overawed , Donna. Breathtaking in the montages but the throaty Amaryllis is the definitive statement here. Some fun facts mixed with good advice. Wonderful
    Laura ( a water dragon)

    • Donna says:

      Thx wonderful you are a Water Dragon…loved your post by the way….the amaryllis is amazing and graces the windowsill in my office…I have never had such a spectacular one…it has 2 stems and 10 flowers…

  7. Karin/Southern Meadows says:

    Your selection of red is nice. I am more drawn to pinks and reddish orange than a true red. As a red head I am stuck with red so it was never a favorite color of mine with clothing (clash) or decor but I can appreciate it in the garden especially since it attracts the hummers!

    • Donna says:

      I can understand your staying away from true red…few are found that really stand out in the garden…I am partial to red lobelia for the hummers…but you can’t beat pink in a garden…

    • Donna says:

      Red has found its way into parts of the garden but it has to be placed just right…of course a great stand of red helenium or lobelia is stunning..the yarrows are cultivars of Achillea millefolium..the red is Paprika..the pink I do not recall but I am sure it is not a hybrid …I searched for color varieties of the native…if I can locate the name of the pink I will let you know…

    • Donna says:

      There are many red natives and some are cultivars of the original native so I do count them amongst my natives…of course the many hues of red help…

  8. Aimee says:

    Those red amaryllis are stunning! Red is actually my favorite color. With our house being red brick and our garage being a maroon/red concrete, however, I’ve avoided planting too much in the way of red. Mostly purples, whites, and oranges, with some pink thrown in. I love that red garden of yours! Very bold and beautiful.

    • Donna says:

      Aimee thx for the nod for the red garden, red plants and post…of course I should have known red was your fav just from your blog name and the wonderful pic of your red garden clogs!! 😉 I love the colors you are combining…

  9. Alberto says:

    Another good post Donna! I use to hate red in the past but now I have completely changed my mind and I just love it, I’m glad I once hated it though, so now I can dose it the right way. Heleniums are the best red I think, because they could be a warm orange red as weel as a dark and intense blood red. One of 2012 tasks is finding and planting a good red hemerocallis (possibly without a yellow throat).

    • Donna says:

      Alberto, thanks for such nice words…I agree helenium is such a gorgeous plant with all its different hues of red…good luck finding a nice daylily without a yellow throat…

    • Donna says:

      Thx Beth.. I am so glad you liked the post…I think what has sustained me this winter has been the beautiful skies…finding that little gem is amazing and I am so grateful for each sunrise and sunset I see these days.

    • Donna says:

      Catharine how lovely to have red as your wedding dress color…so much prettier than white. I construct the mosaics in is fun to use but does take time.

  10. Rose says:

    Although I prefer pastel shades in my garden, I’ve found that small doses of red really do create an impact. And I agree–red and purple really make an eye-catching combination. Lovely collages!

    • Donna says:

      Rose I agree I drift to the pastel side of colors more, but I have grown to love the bold colors especially for that impact. So glad you enjoyed the post!!

  11. Carolflowerhillfarm says:

    Dear Donna, Interesting post. The skies are more dramatic this time of year. Since we lose most of the color in the land . . . nature grants us a more colorful sky. Lovely.

    On another note – I hope you will not mind . . .
    I should love to visit you and others more often but the snow feature really makes my computer run faster and it scares me. It simply overworks my mac.

    • Donna says:

      Carol you are so right about the sky now having all the color while the land is devoid of it…on that other note, I have deactivated the snow feature…it is fun during the holidays but I have had enough here and on the blog. I hope that will help…

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