An Experiment with Colour

What must the world have thought when Isaac Newton revealed that colour doesn’t really exist – except as wavelengths and frequencies, that it is measured in units of cycles or waves per second?  What did he mean when he said colour is really light reflected off objects we see?

Let me show you the miracle of reflected light and colour.

There is an unknown passenger growing in the Manel bowl on my balcony.  Its fleshy Forget-Me-Not sized flowers bloom for a couple of hours before shrivelling up in the tropical heat.  This shot was taken at  8.14 am, long before the sun had moved around to shine in its direction.  Pretty, isn’t it?

Look at the change in colour at 11.47 am.  By now the sun had drifted over the outer edge of the balcony and was shining directly onto the flowers.  Do click on the image, so you can see the light actually reflecting off the petals.  Spectacular, no?

Colours have always dazzled my eyes.  The story goes that my first word was pretty, gravely uttered to a stalk of lavender I had plucked with stubby fingers on that morning’s progress around the garden.  I don’t know whether I was referring to the flower, its’ heady, astringent scent, or that subtle silvery mauve.  Ma maintained it was the flower, and certainly flowers have been at the centre of my life, except when I’ve been moving around on public transport,  a backpack or suitcase in tow.  Two or three days in one spot, you’re sure to see a flower in a tooth-mug or a bottle of some type.

If flowers were in black and white, would they hold the same appeal?   While Renoir might have spent 40 years discovering that the “queen of all colours was black”, and Vita Sackville-West perfected the art of the white garden, for me a garden is a Monet, or the colours of tropical abundance and drama – painted with the pallet of Rousseau or Gauguin.

This is what I mean.  Here’s the colour in my little garden this week,  Can you see how the light brings the colour to life?

Late, as usual, but many thanks to SidevieW for proposing ‘a post of any type’ for her weekend challenge on the theme of Colours.   I’m going straight over there now to see what everyone else has posted – I suggest you do the same!

Related Articles:

Phenomenal Growth of the Manel

A Bloomig Update

Bloom Day in a Colombo Garden

A Bud, on the Manel

Six Sixes on a Friday

Needless to Say, N is for Nelumbo – the Sacred Lotus


32 thoughts on “An Experiment with Colour

  1. I love your garden. You have certainly brought a lot of colour into my life. Thank you for that. The “Rampant Cordyline Colours” shot is stunning!

  2. Not only loving flowers but taking the time to study them…reflected light and color. You are a true naturalist. A garden wouldn’t be a garden without color,patterns, texture, and each day something different, even the withering bud is lovely to me. About the only blue flower we have in SW Florida is the plumbago. You have a beautiful collection of blue. TY for sharing.

    • I do love plumbago blue – though there’s a new, brighter/deeper variety that is more to my lush, tropical tastes!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post – I’ve always loved looking at things – observing, seeing how they work – and I think the greatest joy of ‘retirement’ is that I now have the time to notice, more methodically. And of course, blogging is a way of talking to myself and have people “listen in” to these observations. 🙂

    • Really, colour adds texture and vitality to our sight. It’s unimaginable to think of not seeing in colour, though I’ve been wondering about my dreams but I can’t seem to catch them to have a good look 🙂

  3. I love a white garden, at night in the moonlight they are spectacular but daytime gardens must have colour & interesting textures, oh and not be too tidy… Despite being well on in age, my favourite colour is still rainbow 🙂

    • Oh good – I’m glad the Manel will have a champion, even after I’ve gone! That two and a half months it was in constant flower was like a benediction, a special gift before I leave, a bit like the monkeys.

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