Hello Yellow in My Garden

“How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun.” –Vincent Van Gogh

When I see yellow I am reminded of spring.  Of the daffodils in particular that pop up all over my garden and in my meadow.  I love the cheery face of yellow in spring, but my big daffodil bloom happens in April, not March.  Normally I see either early yellow snow crocus or winter aconite first in the spring garden.  This year it has been the aconite.  Only a few this past weekend.

But that should all be changing quite soon.  We had a fierce snow storm last Friday and it was cold Saturday.  Not much snow cover stayed because the ground is already warming in early March.  My pond thawed completely already in early March which doesn’t happen either.  Add to this the 60 plus degree weather all week and my garden is in fast forward.  The green leaves of bulbs are quickly sprouting up and I expect the  first daffs to bloom 3 weeks early, which is anytime now.  Fast forward to Wednesday and lots of iris reticulata, crocus and aconite in bloom.

Then there is the mass bird migration.  The Canada geese have been returning by the thousands.  I have never seen the skies so thick with them at different altitudes and sometimes in the middle of snow storms.  Lots of migratory birds are also returning and fully expect to see wrens and swallows in my garden any time soon.  Maybe even some hummers early as well.

geese moving

So in honor of GBBD@May Garden Dreams and Seepferds Garten, and to celebrate our early spring, let’s talk about yellow. They say that we react to yellow almost instantaneously.  We either like it or hate the hue of yellow we see. Many people don’t like yellow painted on their walls and it is tricky when wearing yellow since some hues can make you look pale or even sickly.  We love to see yellow in the garden especially in spring, but we rarely want to drive a yellow car.




The word “yellow” comes from the Old English geolu, or geolwe.

Yellow is said to produce a warming effect, makes us feel cheerful, stimulates our mental activity, and generates energy.

Yellow is seen before other colors when placed against black. Designers also say it is best to put yellow near a dark color for example with light yellow which tends to disappear into white without the dark color.


spring yellows

Various Meanings

*Yellow is used to evoke pleasant feelings and encourages communication.  Yellow is the color of sunshine and is therefore associated with intellect, optimism and enlightenment.

*Use yellow around your office or home to help clear your mind, improve memory and decision making.

*If yellow is your favorite color you are a powerful thinker allowing  you to overcome great obstacles. You enjoy the finer things in life especially art.  You love to search for new ideas.

*When yellow is overused it is said to have a disturbing effect.  For instance, they have found that babies cry more in yellow rooms.

*In the English language, yellow has traditionally been associated with jaundice and cowardice.



In heraldry, yellow was first associated with honor and loyalty. Later the meaning of yellow became one of  cowardice.

The Chinese hold the color yellow in high esteem more than anywhere else in the world. In China it was the color of emperors during both the Ming and Qing dynasty.

The legendary first emperor of China was known as the Yellow Emperor or Huangdi. Members of the imperial family of China at that time were the only ones allowed to display the color yellow

“Yellow” (“giallo”), in Italian also refers to crime stories. This was because in 1930 the first crime novels published in Italy had yellow covers.

Archeologists think that Native Americans may have been growing sunflowers as far back as 3000B.C.


Fun Facts

spring/fall yellows

*A yellow flag means quarantine.

*Yellow is often associated with food. Fruit comes to mind first for yellow foods; lemons and bananas.

*Yellow is very effective for attracting attention.  It should be used to highlight the most important elements of your design.

*Bright, pure yellow is an attention getter and the combination of yellow and black evokes a warning.  These are some of the reason in the US, taxicabs and school buses are painted yellow and black.

*Yellow is a good color for children’s products and items related to leisure.

*The message you send by driving a vehicle that you are joyful and young-at-heart. But if your car is a Yellow Gold you give an impression of intelligence, warmth and comfort.

*Yellow is a color used to denote “caution” which is why it is the second light on stop lights.

*Yellow has been associated with sensational journalism, or yellow journalism.

*Wear yellow to appear cheerful and uplifting.

*Yellow is considered a warm color in landscape design. In the garden it has a stimulating effect.  Yellow flowers pop in the landscape making a large garden appear a bit smaller or cozier.

*Yellow’s complimentary color in the garden is purple.

*The telephone directory was printed every year on yellow paper and thus became known as the “yellow pages”.



Shades of yellow can appear visually unappealing if they become dingy.

Dull (dingy) yellow represents caution, decay, sickness, and jealousy.
Light yellow  (Light yellow)is associated with intellect, freshness, and joy.

Gold stands for power. Shades of golden yellow offer a promise of a positive future.


1st daffs of 2011

It is the color closest to light. In its utmost purity it always implies the nature of brightness and has a cheerful, serene, gently stimulating character. Hence, experience teaches us that yellow makes a thoroughly warm and comforting impression. With yellow the eye rejoices, the heart expands, the spirit is cheered and we immediately feel warmed. Many people feel an inclination to laugh when looking through a yellow glass. Johann von Goethe  Theory of Colors, 1840



Next up on the blog:   Monday is another Garden Book Review.  On Wednesday I will be revealing the Seasonal Celebrations in time for the change of seasons.  I hope you will decide to write a quick post and join in.  The last color post will be in two weeks;  green for Wildflower Wednesday.  Also don’t forget to join in with Beth@PlantPostings for her Garden Lessons Learned.

As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.  So drop by to check out all the blooms this Friday.  I will also be joining Katarina for her Blooming Friday meme where the theme is Signs of Spring.  Yellow is definitely a sign of spring for me.

I hope you will join me for my weekly posts, every Tuesday, at Beautiful Wildlife Garden.

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.







  1. Donna says:

    So many yellows, so little time. Your really captured an array of them in the mosaics. Many of the blooms are sun-shaped and that is so appropriate for sun a sunny color.

  2. thevioletfern says:

    There is nothing like yellow blooms come Spring. I forgot where I read, but remember that at some point in English history Yellow was thought to be a color of the “commoners” because it was a prevalent color in cottage gardens. I grew up in a yellow room, hmmm.

    • Donna says:

      I grew up in a yellow room too…perfect since I am a commoner…love that bit of history…I think yellow is just too lovely a color to be missed especially in Spring…

  3. igardendaily says:

    Happy GBBD! Love your post on yellow as I am a huge fan! I wear it, paint my walls with it and once drove a yellow volkswagon bug! It truly is my favorite color and it was very interesting to read the means, history and fun facts! And of course, I have a lot of yellow flowers in my garden but I’ve heard other people say they don’t care for yellow flowers. Really?! 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Happy GBBD. Hard to believe yellow flowers could be disliked…but we each have our fav colors…you really are a yellow fan if you drive a yellow car… 🙂

  4. Jen says:

    Love yellow, and what a informative post on the color.

    I have to laugh, when I used to work at the garden center customers would say “any color but yellow.” I always made sure to show them how it made other colors POP and look so much better when they slipped in a bit of it.

    I am planning on having some shades of yellow in my garden just have to find the right plant.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  5. HolleyGarden says:

    I love yellow, but I don’t think I’ve ever looked through a yellow glass. Now I want to to see if I’ll laugh! When I was young, my room was painted yellow, and I have always loved it. In fact, a lot of the walls in my home now are painted yellow. I know someone that hates this color, and I often wonder when she visits if she’s uncomfortable!

    • Donna says:

      Holley it would be interesting to ask your friend…I have one area that is yellow…our dark stairway and upstairs hall..it brightens it up…I also grew up in a yellow room…very pastel yellow too.

  6. Alberto says:

    I totally confirm about crime novels in Italy! 🙂
    You have a lot of beautiful yellow flowers in your garden, I’ve noticed you have some of the narcissus I’ve planted last winter and I’m waiting for them (like ‘hillstar’). I have a lot of yellow in my garden too, I only pay attention not to place it too close to the house, which will be soon painted red again…

    • Donna says:

      Alberto, you are very observant…yes lots of narcissus…I loved that part about the crime novels in Italy…Can’t wait to see your yellow!

  7. Liz says:

    Hi Donna,

    A confessed yellow-hater here, however I am learning to change my ways and the yellows of the Tete-a-tetes in my garden are really cheerful and oh so very cute with their little blooms at this time of year compared to the larger Daffs.
    Winter Aconites enmasse also look rather amazing, and as your blog post shows, yellow really is a wonderful colour to have in the garden 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Ah Liz how funny that you are being won over by yellow…I think sometimes in the garden it could overpower it without the right balance of purple maybe…so glad you enjoyed the post!

  8. tina says:

    I love yellow in the garden and just about everywhere-not on the walls of a bedroom but in the kitchen-yes! Daffodils sure do say spring and wow! I enjoy learning all about the colors from your posts. Can’t wait for green as it is my all time favorite color-of course.

    • Donna says:

      Tina it does seem rather odd that yellow in a bedroom would not be good but I grew up with a yellow bedroom…I may have to think about that..I have a lovely cool, deep blue bedroom that is very relaxing now. So glad you have been enjoying the color posts….

    • Donna says:

      Karin how wonderful that office must be…mine at work is beige and green. Not a beige fan. Those yellows are beginning to pop in my garden..can’t wait..they make me so happy to see them!!

  9. Stacy says:

    I LOVE yellow–but more than with other colors, at least where paint and clothes and things are concerned, I think it depends on the hue. On flowers it doesn’t matter–any shade of yellow is just lovely! It’s hard not to smile just thinking about a garden full of daffodils.

    • Donna says:

      I agree Stacy with yellow flowers. But with other things I like to combine yellow and I think it is one of the colors in the garden I love best to do combos..pink and yellow; purple and yellow; red and yellow..they all sing!!

  10. Nell Jean says:

    Interesting presentation. Yellow in the garden reminds me of the percussion section of the orchestra. It gets to help keep the rhythm and now and then there is that tremendous clash of cymbals or a drum roll.

    The first yellow wave is over in my garden (daffodils). It will come back as Black eyed Susans and lilies. Yellow roses have their own bed with lots of white and green supporters.

    • Donna says:

      I love your analogy Nell Jean…the first wave is hitting right now with daffs…soon to be daylilies and Susans for me after that!

  11. RamblingWoods says:

    Since we have been in contact and I am excited about spring, I have been dreaming yellow flowers. I love sunflowers and would take them over roses anyway. I planted some seed last year near our mailbox and they were so pretty. This year I am going to do it again. I can’t help but smile when I see a yellow flower..thanks so much for your help..I am so happy to have met you…Michelle

    • Donna says:

      Oh Michelle you make my day! I have lots of sunflower seed but not sure it will germinate..probably will in case you need any…they are one of my favorite summer flowers into the fall…

      • RamblingWoods says:

        Donna..I have seeds for sunflowers and a mixed pack for bees that I put around the mailbox post and I had people stopping me to say how pretty it was..it was sunflowers and cosmos I think..I have more..LOVE them…

        • Donna says:

          Wonderful Michelle…can’t wait to see them this year…I have dozens of honey bees seeking out my crocus and iris reticulata…they are very happy today

  12. PlantPostings says:

    Ah yes, who can deny the joy found in the color yellow?! Perfect post for this exceptionally warm March GBBD! It was 82 in Madison today–broke records two days in a row and it looks like an extended forecast of mild temperatures. Thanks for your bright, lovely photos!

    • Donna says:

      I cannot imagine 80 here yet but we might get there this week…yellow worked out well for March…better than I could have imagined…so glad you enjoyed all the yellow Beth!

  13. Bernieh says:

    We love yellow here in the tropics. It’s fresh and bright and cheery. Loved your collages and your post made for fascinating reading.

    • Donna says:

      Bernieh I am so happy to hear you loked the yellows…the colors in the tropics are so bold and beautiful…I can imagine your yellow is just amazing!

  14. Carolflowerhillfarm says:

    Lovely yellow collages Donna! Yellow is my favorite primary color and mix it with the blue of the sky and you have spring green. Thanks for reminding me to add Cad. yellow to my ‘list to buy’ before my upcoming painting workshop. I drive a red car but would gladly have a yellow one too. It is a very safe car color. I do so hate when humans place meaning on . . . say flowers and colors and make something natural and wonderful into something negative such as yellow for cowardice. Oh Well! We too are getting record high temperatures here next week. I fear for the fragile spring petals. We could certainly still get a blast of cold and dumping of snow too. Enjoy!
    PS there is a strange link on your site ?? Just after May Dream Gardens link.

    • Donna says:

      Thx for pointing out the weird link…Gesine lost her url apparently and her url changed…yes the meaning of color should be more positive…yellow is too cheery to have a negative meaning…I am so ecstatic with the yellow appearing and all the spring green popping..although I am worried about this warm spell and the effect on plants and wildlife..

  15. Jay says:

    I really enjoyed your flower post. Those flowers are quite beautiful. I really miss the spring daffodil blossoms when I lived in England. They would often fill up the center of the roundabouts with them which made a really good reason to not drive into them! (=

    • Donna says:

      Sue I am glad I could lift your spirits with the yellow post…I was expecting a gray winter day as well which is why I chose yellow for March…instead the daffs are breaking out and I hope will be in full blossom any day!

  16. Jean says:

    I’m totally nuts for yellow, so I’m glad to know it makes me a powerful thinker. 🙂 It also suggests that I won’t lapse into mental mush when I retire, since I’ll be living full-time in my Maine house, which has an astonishing array of yellows. (I’m the only person I know who has a four-room house and 11 partially used cans of yellow paint in the basement!) As far as the effects of too much yellow, my response is “too much? impossible!)
    Your garden seems to be well ahead of mine in Maine. My Iris reticulata and crocuses are just now breaking the surface. Even with these unusually warm temperatures, it will be a while before they are ready to bloom.

    • Donna says:

      Jean you are a powerful thinker without yellow 🙂 But it does suit you. I am pretty astounded you have so much yellow, but not so surprised knowing your love of daylilies. Hope your spring garden is blooming profusely soon…not sure I want it to spring too far ahead here…I like the slow crawl into spring.

  17. Christina says:

    Yellow is definately the sun to me and when I lived in England yellow was daffodils EVERYWHERE. Now I enjoy more yellow in summer too especially the day lillies. Christina

  18. Greggo says:

    I remember when I was in a college design class the professor implied that yellow foilage plants such as golden euonymous, etc. were appealing to a less sophisticated client. Hmmm.

    • Donna says:

      Greggo that sounds like another comment where yellow was thought to be a color of commoners…I think it is appealing to those who have discerning taste!

  19. debsgarden says:

    Your yellow mosaics are marvelous! Nothing says spring like the color yellow! My forsythias have finished blooming, and only a few daffodils are still blooming. We are well into mid-spring and other colors are coming to dominate, but yellow has a special place in my heart throughout the year. Our master bedroom is painted a creamy shade of yellow, and the master bath is a wake-you-up bright yellow and white.

    • Donna says:

      Wow Deb my forsythias haven’t weven started…and the daffs are just starting…how wonderful to have an early spring…I had a pastel yellow bedroom growing up…I loved it…you certainly are a big fan!

  20. Tatyana@MySecretGarden says:

    Donna, thank you for this post! I am the one who doesn’t consider yellow as one of the favorite colors. But, I love daffodils and flowers of lemon-yellow color. I plant calendula, yellow and orange, because of its health benefits. I think you are right – there are many tones of yellow, and we like some of them more than others.

    • Donna says:

      Tatyana I think the lovely yellows you plant are wonderful…I do think some hues might not be appealing to me after a while either!

  21. Wife, Mother, Gardener says:

    Wonderful post, Donna! I am glad that spring is headed your way. It is in full swing here in PA with this weeks temps being forecast in the 70s! I am excited to say the least.

    Happy March!

  22. landscapelover says:

    Donna, your posts reminds me of one of my favourite poems, “Those Latin Names” by Reginald Arkell:

    It was a simple country child
    Who took me by the hand:
    Why English flowers had Latin names
    She couldn’t understand.
    Those funny, friendly English flowers,
    That bloom from year to year –
    She asked me if I would explain,
    And so I said to her:

    ERANTHIS is an aconite
    As everybody knows,
    Our friend the Christmas Rose.
    GALANTHUS is a snowdrop,
    MATTHIOLA is a stock,
    And CARDAMINE the meadow flower
    Which you call lady’s smock.
    MUSCARI is grape hyacinth,
    DIANTHUS is a pink –
    And that’s as much as one small head
    Can carry, I should think.

    She listened, very patiently;
    Then turned, when I had done,
    To where a fine FORSYTHIA
    Was smiling in the sun.

    Said she: “I love this yellow stuff.”
    And that, somehow, seemed praise enough.

  23. Island Threads says:

    Donna I really enjoy your colour posts, I like yellow and have always thought of it as the sunshine colour, my first kitchen was yellow,
    I was in my fourties when I learnt to drive and my first car was yellow, I called it my little ray of sunshine as having a car made such a difference to my life in a freeing and happy way,
    love your beautiful yellow flower collages, I have noticed that a lot of the wildflowers here are yellow with purple and mauve being the next most common colour,
    glad spring has started for you, Frances

    • Donna says:

      Frances your kitchen must have been wonderful in yellow and your ray of sunshine car lovely to drive. It means a lot that you are enjoying the color posts…green is the last one for this season and it will be next Wednesday…can’t wait to see your yellow wildflowers!!

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