The Fearless Keeyla Meadows (my color hero)

I have a thing for color. Big, bright, bold, beautiful color. No nude, beige, tan, taupe or ecru for this girl. Give me the Crayolas and a box of 96 if you please. And make it snappy.

So, I was doing a little research into a colorful acquaintance of mine, and it cost me. Boy, was it expensive research.

I was also overcome with another attack of “gotta have those too!” as it related to bulbs. Yes, more bulbs. For someone who swore she was not going to plant bulbs this year, I’ve certainly lost steely reserve. I think I have about 650 corms, bulbs, rhizomes, and tubers headed my way. And there are those extra bags of incidentals at the nursery the other day – the hot pink and orange lily flowered tulip collections.

I’m blaming the latest buying frenzy on a great and oh-so-enchanting-gardener+artist, one Miz Keeyla Meadows.


She has a new book coming out any day now, from Workman Publishing, The Fearless Color Garden and I can hardly wait.


Then I found her blog, Flirting with Flowers and I was off and shopping for more bulbs. She posted a list! NONONO! Don’t let me see that! NO NO NO. Here it is.

Ranunculus — Tecote Cafe, Salmon, Gold
Iris — Rustler, Pass the Wine, Brown Lasso, Tennison Ridge
Dutch Iris — Eye of the Tiger
Tulip — Menton, Black Parrot, Queen of the Night, Cairo, Gavota
Lily — Tango series, Honeybee, Halloween, Starburst, Spotted Salmon Tigerlily, Landini (the blackest lily)
Fritillaria — Persica, Rubra (Red Crown, Yellow Crown)

I’ve been a Keeyla fan for years, and just happened to run into her at Cafe Fanny last year. I gushed over her work, her first book and made a scene. Like the pied piper she is, she had Debra Prinzing, Lorene Edwards Forkner and I in tow in minutes, off to see her fantastic and colorful garden. I’ve promised Keeyla I would NOT publish photos of her garden until her book is out, so you will just have to be happy with the pictures of the garden visitors. And I will wait here for the bulbs to arrive.


13 thoughts on “The Fearless Keeyla Meadows (my color hero)”

  1. She has a book called, Making Gardens Works of Art. Plus, she has done many gardens for the San Francisco Flower Show, which is where I first met her.

  2. Oh gosh, I’m heading to her website now. I’ll probably want whatever she suggest too and am really looking forward to that book. Love your enthusiasm about her–we should all be so supportive.

  3. I’m convinced the road to Hell is paved with spring-blooming bulbs. Good luck getting all those planted, but boy, is it going to look gorgeous next year. I’m looking forward to this book, as I’m a colorista too (but I don’t do orange).

  4. What incredible memories of the morning we were enjoying cafe and poached eggs at Cafe Fanny’s. Of course, Mary Ann spotted Keeyla. Well, she’s not telling the whole truth here. FIRST she spotted Keeyla’s outrageous cloak, which you can see in the top photo. And then the next thing we knew, Mary Ann had popped up out of her seat and followed Keeyla back into the Cafe to compliment her on the adorable jacket. And yes, as MA says, Keeyla very graciously invited us to her nearby garden, a polychromatic explosion of joy.
    Lorene and I were just along for the ride on that colorfest. And Keeyla was a charmer. I, too, have been awaiting her new book (and sitting on my pics from that day), Mary Ann.
    How fun to see these preview photos again xoxo Debra

  5. I love that our fabulous girlfriend morning has been “posted”!!! Keeyla was incredible and so gracious to invite us over. Lesson learned…put your shyness in your back pocket and reach out to the amazing experiences right under your nose. AND…if you go to Cafe Fanny you HAVE to get the poached eggs TRANSFORMATIONAL!!! Now I’m off to explore Keeyla’s website and review my pictures of that lovely morning. Dontcha know garden writer girls never travel without their trusty cameras!

  6. I think I need to get out more. I want to hang with you and Debra and Lorene when you track down the creators of ‘polychromatic explosions of joy’! Can’t wait to see the book and the garden pics.

  7. Wow! I wish I had coined “polychromatic explosions of joy,” but, alas, I did not. The only other thing I can say about Keeyla is this: she is an Artistwith a capital A, a colorist (duh) and a gardener’s gardener. And if you EVER get invited to her house, run, don’t walk.

    And go to Cafe Fanny, Debra cajoled us into it (she didn’t have to try to hard) and look what came of it? You just never know what brilliant opportunity is around the next corner.

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