Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Feel Like Mrs. Blandings

As I plant my garden, taking height and spread into consideration along with both the color of flower and foliage, I realize some people would think I’m too picky or neurotic.  But if you’re going to spend the time and money on your garden, no sense just putting things willy-nilly.  Though sometimes when I am done, it looks like that is exactly what I have done.  My need to ponder over the shade of blue for a certain area or question whether there is enough contrast between plants makes me feel a bit like Mrs. Blandings.  If you have never seen ‘Mr. Blandings builds his dream house’ with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy, you are missing a classic.  The following is my favorite scene between Mrs. Blandings, the Contractor and the Painter:
Muriel Blandings: I want it to be a soft green, not as blue-green as a robin's egg, but not as yellow-green as daffodil buds. Now, the only sample I could get is a little too yellow, but don't let whoever does it go to the other extreme and get it too blue. It should just be a sort of grayish-yellow-green. Now, the dining room. I'd like yellow. Not just yellow; a very gay yellow. Something bright and sunshine-y. I tell you, Mr. PeDelford, if you'll send one of your men to the grocer for a pound of their best butter, and match that exactly, you can't go wrong! Now, this is the paper we're going to use in the hall. It's flowered, but I don't want the ceiling to match any of the colors of the flowers. There's some little dots in the background, and it's these dots I want you to match. Not the little greenish dot near the hollyhock leaf, but the little bluish dot between the rosebud and the delphinium blossom. Is that clear? Now the kitchen is to be white. Not a cold, antiseptic hospital white. A little warmer, but still, not to suggest any other color but white. Now for the powder room - in here - I want you to match this thread, and don't lose it. It's the only spool I have and I had an awful time finding it! As you can see, it's practically an apple red. Somewhere between a healthy winesap and an unripened Jonathan. Oh, excuse me...
Mr. PeDelford: You got that Charlie?
Charlie, Painter: Red, green, blue, yellow, white.
Mr. PeDelford: Check.
So, as someone compliments the blue flower in my garden, I bite my tongue to keep myself from telling them it’s more indigo than blue. 

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