However, over the last two years since we moved to our newly built home and started doing our own landscaping for the first time, a Problem has presented itself. You see, not only does my husband weed the garden, he does most of the planting, and therefore most of the running back and forth to the store to choose which annuals and perennials to put in. This would not normally be an issue, since he works with plants every day in his job, and is on the whole much better at checking tags and choosing hardy, easy-to-care-for flowers than I am.
Unfortunately, however, my husband is also colour-blind.
I always thought that people with red-green blindness saw both colours as grey, but my husband says that this is not the case. He can tell the difference between red and green so long as they are different intensities -- a light red and a dark green, for instance. But if they're approximately the same intensity (as on a traffic light, for instance) then it becomes difficult to tell them apart.
Still, it's not that big a deal most of the time. Everybody knows that on a traffic light the red is at the top and the green is at the bottom. And it's hard to think of too many other situations (everyday ones, that is) where the ability to distinguish red and green really matters.
What I did not anticipate, however, was the effect that red-green blindness would have on my husband's choice of annuals for the garden -- namely, that it would lead him to perceive fuchsia and coral as contrasting colours and bring home a flat of impatiens in each. He had the idea of alternating the two shades for a nice eye-catching effect.
After I got over my initial shock, I managed to convince him that perhaps he should just leave in the coral-coloured row he'd already planted (though even that was a stretch, because I loathe orangey-pink hues, coral especially) and put the fuchsia ones somewhere else. So off he went again last night to get some different flowers for the front of the bed.
This morning I stepped out on the porch to see the petunias he'd bought, only to find that he had brought home one flat of scarlet and the other of... purple.