A Color Contrast

“A Color Contrast”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 


One design element I like in my garden is contrast, particularly contrasts of color.  For example, I like red, which is a hot color, next to purple, a cool color. 


Another color combination I like is chartreuse next to dark purple.  I use this pairing with coleus and with sweet potato vine.  Years ago when Margarita sweet potato vine was first introduced, I used it in a hanging basket.  Then when Blackie was introduce a year or so later, they both went into hanging baskets.  It wasn’t until Ace of Spades came along that I found the perfect pairing.


I planted both Margarita and Ace of Spades in the garden.  I chose Ace over Blackie because the leaves of Margarita and Ace are so similar.  The two together look so good twining through the beds. 




Both of these colors have the same intensity which also makes them a good pairing.  But, with such intensity, a little goes a long way.  I find just one or two of each plant is enough, otherwise, there is too much color, and it loses the impact of the contrasting.


Margarita is the more vigorous of the two and needs to be trimmed back more often to keep under control.  I have been lucky that both vines have overwintered with mulch as protection.  Most people grow these as annual, summer vines.   Inexpensive as they are, combined together, they certainly make a big statement.



  1. Alexandra said,

    August 7, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    I really enjoy reading your gardening blogs. They inspire me to work harder in my own, so that someday, it will be as beautiful as yours and Brenda’s! 🙂

  2. Jan said,

    August 7, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Thanks, Alexandra. Don’t be so hard on yourself, I’ve been working at my garden for years. It takes time to experiment and get things like you want them. Thanks for the compliment.

  3. August 7, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    I love that lime green & purple combination too. It is very striking in the garden. I also look for texture and a variety of leaf shapes & sizes. Great post today about combining colors.

  4. Jan said,

    August 8, 2008 at 3:17 am

    Thanks, for the feedback. I agree that texture and leaf variety are also important esp. when there are no flowers blooming.

  5. Jon Pen said,

    August 8, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Hi Jan, I agree totally with your combo scheme color contrast and I do the same. I also like foliage combinations and contrasts, and, like you, I really like the way Ace of Spades and Margarita work together and twine through the flower beds. I have both of these growing in a driveway bed this year, but they are not as rampant this year as last due to lack of rain I think.
    Best regards….always a treat to visit your neat and lovely blog.
    Jon at Mississippi Garden blog on 8-8-08

  6. Brenda Kula said,

    August 8, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Oh, I love contrast too! The purples are always like a lake filled with water that you can almost fall into, the shade is so luscious! You are such a good gardener, Jan, and I always am amazed at the professional results you can come up with! You are my garden inspiration!

  7. Jan said,

    August 8, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks, Jon. You are always so nice to comment about what you like about my blog. I feel the same way about yours. I enjoyed it before I started writing mine and was so glad that you got over being sick and started up again. My Magarita is about as robust as always, but Ace of Spades was not. I, too, think it may be the fact that until recently we have had little rain.

    Brenda, what a lovely image to describe the purples. Thank you for your kind words about my garden. You are so sweet to take the time to write such a gracious comment. You and Jon have made my day.

  8. August 8, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    A very nice contrast. I like those two together, too. They are definitely annuals in my ‘neck of the woods’.

  9. Jan said,

    August 9, 2008 at 4:31 am

    Thanks, Carol. I guess I am lucky that mine return every year in the spring. In fact, even though the leaves may die off, the stems rarely do. I was surprised this spring when I transplanted some Margarita that there were no tubers, just roots on the stem.

  10. Donna said,

    August 9, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    I want to try Ace of Spades.

  11. Jan said,

    August 9, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Donna, I like Ace of Spades a little better than Blackie. It is a great addition wherever a touch of a dark color is needed.

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