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This article reminded me of a sore subject from back in about 1986 that continues today: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/7890212/posts/4888 You should probably take a look at it before you continue.

Back when my colleague and I were roommates in the dorms at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, we noticed how badly the photographs in bare root catalogs had been modified to enhance color. Years before modern digital editing, colored film was cut out to any desired shape and placed over a photograph to produce a new photograph with enhanced color. We looked at pictures of flowering crabapples with canopies that were entirely bright pink, including the stems, leaves and everything associated with the canopy of the tree. We could easily see the outline of the bright pink film that had been placed over the original photograph. It was done with blue fescue, hydrangeas, azaleas, callas and really just about anything that could benefit from a bit of enhanced color.

It certainly did not dissuade us from our interest in the plants that had been photographically enhanced. We liked them anyway. The poor quality of the enhancements that would be laughable by modern standards seemed to be more acceptable back then; like the idealistic pictures of the food available from popular fast food establishments. I mean, we all know that the food does not look like ‘that’ but it probably tastes like ‘that’ looks.

Three decades later, modern technology of digital editing of photographs (if they are still known as ‘photographs’) has improved the technique of color enhancement significantly. Most pictures in catalogs are now enhanced to some degree, not to be deceptive, but to eliminate minor glitches that might distract from the rest of the image, and perhaps to enhance color that is slightly compromised by the exposure at the time the picture was taken.

But of course, there are some images that are blatantly inaccurate and deceptive.

My colleague down south tells me that pink pampas grass can be about as peachy pink as cantaloupe is. It could possibly be more pink in other regions. I have never seen it more than simple pinkish tan here. I know of no one who has confirmed that it can be as bright cotton-candy pink as it is in the picture above. Is it inaccurate and deceptive? I do not know. I do not really care. If I wanted pink pampas grass, I would purchase it anyway, and just try to not be too disappointed when it blooms tan.P80711+This picture above is certainly interesting as well. It is such an appealing color. What is more interesting it that it is the exact same picture as the picture on top, but is merely a different color. I have never heard of a pampas grass doing that! It must be quite common though. Online, there are a few pictures of other pampas grass doing the exact same thing. These two below, for example, are the exact same picture in two different colors, and with slightly different proportional modification.P80711++P80711+++As amusing as these pictures are, they are not as downright KRAZY as the rainbow rose in the article that I posted a link to above is. It is certainly worth taking a look at.

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12 thoughts on “Horridculture – Rose Colored Glasses

  1. Aren’t they just lovely – Not! They look like Cortaderia jubata to me, we have them here as serious weeds in forestry and on roadsides – they come in a range of softer pinks – despite this they are still very horrible.

    They cross with our far finer C. richardii (toitoi). I’ve spent many hours bashing across hillsides with a garbage sack, roundup sprayer and secateurs removing the flower heads, bagging them up and then poisoning them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cortaderia jubata is a serious weed in many places! The really fluffy cultivars of Cortaderia selloana are sterile only because they bloom with only female flowers, so lack a source of pollen. HOWEVER, the Cortaderia jubata that grow wild outise of landscapes that contain Cortaderia selloana provide the pollen to hybridize and proliferate anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As my cousin once said “that screams 80s louder than a bunch of teenage girls at a Duran Duran concert”. I have seen the same kinds of deceptive offerings for other plants, as well. In fact I recently saw some b.s. about blue strawberries. Totally fake!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A small gardening magazine (I think it was something like Birds and Blooms) asked if they could use a photo of Anise Hyssop from our blog for free. Being obliging sorts, we agreed. They sent us the issue where the photo appeared, and the color had been changed so crudely that the plant looked absolutely grotesque.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be insulting. My colleague who is a landscape designer in the Los Angeles Region will not allow pictures of his landscapes to (knowingly) be published without his approval of the article and illustrations.

      Liked by 1 person

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