3810 Whites Creek Pike, Nashville, TN 37207 (615) 876-1014

Archive date:  April 17, 2015

Roses Are Red; Are Redbuds Too?

Renee Bates talks “Color and Texture: Beautiful Plants and Container Designs”, in The GreenRoom this Saturday!

I recently had a message on my voicemail from someone, with a question about Redbuds.  I get a lot of questions.  This one was more interesting than most.  At this time of year, it is not unusual to have inquiries about Redbuds. After all, they are a beautiful early spring flowering native tree, and they have been particularly showy this spring.

Upon my return call, the inquirer proceeds to tell me there is something wrong with the Redbuds, all of the Redbuds.  You see, this individual lived here in the seventies, and only recently moved back.  It was emphatically stated by the questioner, “that in ‘the seventies’ all of the Redbuds were red; now they’re all this pinkish-purple-lavender-mauvey color”. To which I replied, “They have always been that pinkish-purple-lavender-mauvey color, Redbuds have never been red.”

I went on to suggest that it was possible that their color perception was somehow ‘enhanced’ by outside chemical forces, widely available ‘in the seventies’. I was then informed that was not a possibility, they had a ‘sheltered’ upbringing.  Perhaps too sheltered?  Then came the real question: “So why do they call them Redbuds?”   I thought you’d never ask!  In my opinion, many heirloom-type flowering trees and plants are mis-described color-wise.  I believe it to be largely caused by colorblind or at least color-impaired nurserymen from the 1800’s.  I guess we could all start calling them Magentabuds, but no one would know what we’re talking about.

I know someone who knows her colors really well.  That someone is my dear bride, Renee Bates.  Renee calls herself an “artist in training”.  She certainly doesn’t paint like a beginner! (Here is her most recent work.)

 Renee will be talking and presenting, “Color and Texture: Beautiful Plants and Container Designs”.  She will be giving two presentations this Saturday April 18, 2015 at 10:30am and again at 1pm in The GreenRoom. Reservations are recommended.  Contact Sara Bates: sarabates@batesnursery.com to secure your seat(s). 


Ignore the rain,


David Bates