The vantage point for the painting was his room within the hospital. Van Gogh's description and his painting of the garden allow for identification of its flowers, such as: blue bearded irises, forget-me-nots, oleander, pansies, primroses, and poppies. The original design of the courtyard as described by Van Gogh has been preserved. Radiating segments are surrounded by a “plante bande“ now filled with irises. A difference between Van Gogh’s painting and the garden is that Van Gogh increased the size of the central fish garden for better composition. Adept at using color to convey mood, the shades of blue and gold in the painting seem to suggest melancholy. The yellow, orange, red and green in the painting are not vivid shades seen in other work from Arles, such as Bedroom in Arles.