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Colour and Flowers – Guest Blogger Lexa Shaw

May 3, 2011

As artists and designers, we see colour all around us, but sometimes it can be difficult to find words to accurately describe what we see.  In today’s post, Level 3 Art and Design student Lexa Shaw tells us about a tool that helps nurserymen communicate colour across distance.


In the Colour Studies Level 1 course I recall Gail saying that colour and pain are two things that defy remembrance with any accuracy. Anyone who has relied on their memory to match a fabric or thread knows the truth of this statement. Attempts are made to control the description of colour and in the world of flowers this is no different.

The Royal Horticultural Society, London, provides a colour chart that is widely used by flower societies around the world. It is arranged in four sets of fans, each set is made up of a range of colours. Fan 1 contains yellow, yellow-orange, orange, orange-red and red groups. Fan 2 contains the red, purple, violet and blue hues. Fan 3 has green, blue-green, yellow-green, while Fan 4 is all the greyed colours of yellow, orange, red, purple and green. Brown, grey, black and white are also in Fan 4. To colour code a flower the instructions are to place a petal under the hole in the colour patch, with a white background, and to do this indoors in a north light. It also suggests not doing this if the eye has become fatigued. In this way a grower in Canada and one in England will both know the colour of a flower by its colour code number.

If you would like more information about the Royal Horticultural Society colour charts, visit their web site.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ann Rogers permalink
    May 4, 2011 12:43 am

    Thanks Lexa for reminding us about this resource and where to find it online.

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