Fall: The Color Orange

I love color, and find myself mentally attributing various hues to the time of year.  Nothing quite says “fall” like the color orange. Vibrant orange Cucurbitas line walkways and grocery aisles.  Shades of auburn tumble through the graceful branches of deciduous trees. Cool green lawns seem to disappear beneath a carpet of rich autumn hues.

Chinese Pistache Fall Colors

Chinese Pistache Fall Colors

pistache assorted leaves

Pistache up close

Standing at my kitchen window this time of year, I get a grand view of our Chinese Pistache Pistacia chinensis.The leaves drop slowly, as the tree let’s go of summer.  I often collect a few of them to decorate our Thanksgiving table.  Once the tree is bare for the winter, I get a second view.  Our friends directly across the street have a row of Nandina.  They’re covered in red, orange and gold leaves, with berries in multiple hues.  They’re one of my favorite plants this time of year.

nandina berries

Nandina Berries

Nandina leavesAs an aside, when I first met my dear friend Nandini I had to work hard not to call her Nandina.  I assured her it was a compliment to be mistaken for something so vibrant and alive.

According to Sensational Color:

Orange, is a close relative of red. It sparks more controversy than any other hue. There is usually strong positive or negative association to orange and true orange generally elicits a stronger “love it” or “hate it” response than other colors. Fun and flamboyant orange radiates warmth and energy.

Interestingly, some tones of orange, such as terra-cotta, peach, and rust have very broad appeal. Orange stimulates activity and appetite and encourages socialization.

If you’re lucky enough to live in California, you’ll still see oranges on the tree. Not to be undone, the seed pods on the Magnolia take on a similar hue.

Magnolia seed pod

Magnolia Seed Pod

How do you feel about the color orange?


“Orange is red brought nearer to humanity by yellow.” Wassily Kandinsky

6 thoughts on “Fall: The Color Orange

  1. Not my favorite color but everything has a time and place. I love fall. I tried to get pictures of leaves falling today on my walk. Not a lot of luck with the cell phone. I’ll keep trying though. Your pictures are great.


  2. I wish we had more choices for bright fall foilage here, your Pistache tree is a stunner. Even the Maple tree (think syrup & flag), a Canadian icon, will struggle with the wrong exposure in Alberta. We likely are a zone 3, with some yards that are sheltered, west exposures enjoying zone 4. I think the berries of the Nandina would make a gorgeous wreath or filler in an arrangement, I’ll have to ask Adele if she can get some.

    When I first bought the house at the Lake, it actually had a lot of orange decor. It was built in 77, even the cupboards were brown & orange (think A&W), they were the first thing I changed LOL. The kitchen had a GIANT macramé Orange Globe in it and always looked like the kitchen was on fire if you were outside at night….so I didn’t keep that either. I think someone might really groove on it now though.

    The link mentions ladybugs as things in the garden that are orange, I’ll have to take a closer look at those little darlings of the garden…I always think of them as being red. Red or Orange, I just love ladybugs with their freckles.

    One of my favorite basket combo’s ever was Fushia and Orange, your garden link is right, they screamed “look at me” . I’ve also seen Aqua and Orange mixed in decor this summer…super fresh and contemporary.


Please join the conversation by leaving a comment, below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.