Zinnia 'Queen Red Lime'Every so often I find I’m struck by a new color – something that was a “meh” only last year or even just yesterday becomes the best thing ever. It figures that I would choose the most brilliantly perfect, cloudless, sunny day we’ve had so far to show off my new favorite. – It’s a color I love all of a sudden because of how it brightens the gray days. Everyone knows I’m all for green and I have gone so far as to sneak something with a green flower into almost every garden. But I haven’t always loved plants with chartreuse foliage. It’s been coming on sort of slowly this year and then all of a sudden one gray day it really hit me. I heart chartreuse! Get out the Benjamin Moore fan book – I want to paint the world this color.

But today is definitely a true test of my love. The sun has the power to turn this sublime shade of pure sprite to a less appealing mellow yellow. Chartreuse foliage bleaches out with too much sun –  but give it too little and it can go the other way deepening too far into green-green. It’s a delicate balance and so far this year Mother Nature herself has withheld just the right amount of sun for color perfection. Interestingly enough, our eyes can still identify limey green even when we’re nighttime colorblind – that’s why firetrucks and Gremlins used to be painted Big Bad or Safety Green. It’s a must-have color for moon gardens and dappled shade and all of the gray days this year so far. Without further ado, I give you the gallery Chartreuse: Click on for larger images and hover over for captions.

Hosta 'Sum and Substance' and Geranium 'Rozanne'Spirea thunbergii 'Ogon'Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum' Full moon Japanese mapleCaryopteris x clandonensis 'Summer Sorbet'Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' and Hypericum x moserianum 'Tricolor'Rhus typhina 'Tigereye Bailtiger' Sumac and sweet potato vine on a sunny day

Have you discovered a new appreciation for this or any other color this year?