Jackie here. Although it’s only just 50 degrees here in Indy today, spring has come to us over the past couple of weeks, and my perennials are out in full force. Every time I walk up to my house, or drive through my neighborhood, I’m blow away by how marvelous plants and flowers look: they’re always coordinated, no matter the plants; and even the overgrown or slightly ramshackle have qualities of free-spirited loveliness.

I have a bit of a crush on plants and flowers.

What can the natural world teach us about decorating? Probably everything, but today’s thought regards color (I know, I know, we talk about color a lot, but much decorating is made or broken on the color-front, so I feel the time is warranted).

One quick thought: flowers tend to be bright, but I often notice people decorating in more muted palettes, and I wonder about this. If we love bright flowers, shouldn’t we make room in our decorating palettes for a bright color or two? Note the marvelous way brights can play off of more muted plant greens and dirt browns and mulch tans and gray rocks.

And speaking of all those plants and woods and rocks…natural elements make great decorating accessories. Rachel and I are both fond of a well-chosen rock or stick brought indoors…I have two sticks in pots in my house and always musing how I might get my husband to let me bring more in. (More on decorating with the aesthetic of a three-year-old boy later.)

Time to shut up and take note of nature. Here are a few shots from around my house and neighborhood. If you hold your cursor over each pic, I’ve ‘labeled’ the colors I see in the picture. Pay attention to not only obvious colors—flowers and plants—but also to ‘background’ colors like rocks, sidewalks, branches, etc. Click to enlarge shots!