Exploring Color: Red

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

I love looking at colors and how they align with numerology. For my birthdate, this is a 1 year. Which means new beginnings. Before I began this year, I knew it was going to be different, and that lots of newness was coming my way. Almost like spring all year long. Now wouldn’t that be nice. And the 1 year is associated with the vital color of red. Perfect.

Red is one of the three primary colors.  And it is considered the warmest of all colors, and is said to be a very emotionally intense color.  Fiery I’d say! 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. Perhaps wearing a bit more red would help warm me when I am walking in frigid temps.

Red is one of the most beautiful colors to see against the snow in winter. Whether a red cardinal standing in the snow, the red branches of the native red-twig dogwood, berries left on bushes like winterberry or this sumac fruit covered with snow. A favorite winter food for many of our birds.

This week I am delving into red for my #the100dayproject. Bright red, dark, orange and pinkish. This amazing primary color is essential for making so many other colors. I can’t wait to start mixing with it in the weeks ahead as I continue to explore color all year; 365 days.

So let’s explore a bit about the color red…..

Various Meanings and History

Red is the color of fire and blood.  It can be associated with anger, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, beauty and love.  

In Chinese traditions, red is associated with weddings where brides traditionally wear red dresses.

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 expression “seeing red” means anger, and is said to probably come from the natural flush of the cheeks.

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

Fun Facts

Driving a red car is said to mean you are sexy, dynamic and have high-energy. 

Red is one of the most common colors found on national flags. 

Advertisers and designers use red as an accent color to stimulate people to buy or make quick decisions. 

Wear a red accent piece of clothing when you want to present yourself as bold and dynamic. 

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 many sports teams, products and companies use red in their logos. 

The precious gem, 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, passion, sensitivity, and love.

Pink signifies romance and friendship.

Dark red is associated with vigor, willpower, rage, leadership, courage, and wrath.

Reddish-brown is associated with harvest and fall.

Red in the Garden

I used to have many red flowers in the garden as you can see in the collage pictures. They make a bold statement, and a fun combo with colors like yellow and purple. Now it is the red annuals that grace my containers like nasturtiums and zinnias. Hoping to add back more red plants into my small native garden I am developing at the woods edge.

Right now I am enjoying some indoor hippeastrum flowers; pink and this dark red, ‘Sweet Star’. Massive flowers that seem to last for weeks. Giving me some warmth against the snowy cold backdrop of a continuing winter.

All the pictures shared in this post were taken with my Nikon Coolpix or iPhone camera, and manipulated on my iPhone using the apps, Pixlr and Prisma. The collages were created with a variety of apps 10 years ago that are no longer available. You can follow my progress with #the100dayproject in my Instagram and Facebook feed.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2022.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

20 Replies to “Exploring Color: Red”

  1. Hello, Donna
    What a fun post, so many interesting facts on the color red. The flowers are all beautiful. The red berries do look colorful and pretty on a cold winter day. I know in the Spring and summer the color red attracts the hummingbirds. Beautiful photos and mosaics. Take care, enjoy your day. Have a happy new week!

  2. I found it particularly interesting that various cultures have assigned red such different meanings – dismantling the reasons for those varied reactions to the color would make a great anthropological study 😉 I avoided red in my former tiny, shady garden but have embraced it to a greater extent in my current much larger, sunnier one, which seems to cry out for bolder colors.

  3. Nice! But the biggest thing to stick out for me was the ‘not red’ Red Cross symbol for Africa. Amazing how our views can differ across the continents!

  4. Did you know that red weakens another? Using strength testing (kinesiology) have someone stare at something green and test their arm strength, then have them look at something red, and test again. You’ll be astounded!

  5. Thank you for the invigorating post, Donna!
    Red is a lovely colour also in the garden. Unfortunately with my habitual camera I don’t manage to capture it well.
    We don’t have hummingbirds – unfortunately our local pollinators don’t see the red colour and that’s why in nature our flowers are most often yellow or different shades of pink/fuchsia.
    I love you collages and they make me miss Judith’s Mosaic Monday. I think it was there where we met. 🙂
    Stay safe and well!

  6. A most interesting post Donna with much food for thought. I am going to look at red in a new light. I don’t grow many red flowers apart but should reconsider that. Thanks for sharing so many fascinating snippets with us.

  7. At Kirstenbosch on Monday my sister and I were amused by a couple. Both. With jaunty little red hats. Not quite big enough for sunhats, but, who knows, perhaps easier to find each other in a crowd when travelling?

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