Tag Archives | colour

Choosing Bold Colours in the Garden

One of the most interesting aspects of gardening is the combination of colours that can be achieved by accident or design.
Leaves and bark can play their part but it is the bold colours of some of our favourite flowers that take centre stage.

colour

Sometimes, we like the delicate, soothing pastel shades or the zen of a ‘White Garden‘ but, this doesn’t mean we always have to follow decorum and good taste. Sometimes its nice to just choose great impact colours which add life, zest and sparkle to the garden. The kind of colour combination that makes a passerby think – ‘hmm that’s interesting’

colour

Deep Purple Delphiniums and bright red poppies

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Bergenia for Winter Foliage & Spring Flowers

The best Bergenias have leaves that turn  a strong colour in Autumn. These purple leaves look good in the December garden when compared to the ‘Elephant Ear’  green varieties of Bergenia. These plants tend to be lusty and the rampant, leathery leaves may need cutting back to keep the plant in control.

Easy Bergenia Growing

  • Bergenia ciliata make good ground cover plants 1 -2 foot tall depending on the variety.
  • Bergenia cordifolia varieties have smaller leaved varieties that appeal to me for this red and purple winter leaf colouring.
  • Cuttings from the rhizomes are easy to root and plants spread naturally in most conditions including shade.
  • The lime green varieties may be larger leaved and more robust if you wish to cover large areas.
  • They flower on stems of pink bells in clusters. Begenia Eroica is said to flower for longer.
  • Dead head the flowers for a continuation of flowering.

white-berginia

  • This flower is clear white but the buds are a rose pink.
  • Bergenia have large succulent stalks and like a dampish shady spot
  • The rhizomes spread and the plant is useful for covering large difficult areas like scree banks. It is too large to sit well in all but the largest rockeries.
  • Bergenia varieties including Bressingham White, Baby Doll, Rotblum and Bergenia cordifolia are shade tolerant although better sun means better flowers.
    pink-berginia

Bergenia has some medicinal properties and uses see

Bergenia from amazon

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Red and Green in the Garden

Geum

Red and green are complementary colours that draw plenty of compliments in the right setting. This Geum looks better against the green leaves than it does waving around on its long stems (although it is fine then as well).

Poppy

Another moody shot of a red Oriental poppy against it’s slightly greener leaves. For great artistic paintings you can’t beat red poppies and green leaves.

Hibiscus

Perhaps it is the yellow stamens that catch the eye on this Hibiscus but the glossy green leaves are also a major part of the charm.

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Growing Acer as Small Trees

leaves

Acer are renown for the colour of their leaves in Autumn. Careful selection of varieties will produce great spring colour in addition to your Autumn blaze of glory.

leaves

Select the varieties that are classified as shrubs. ‘Japanese Maple’ Acer japonicum and palmatum will give you the desired results.

Other Acers like Field maple, Sycamore, Red or Silver Maple are all medium to large trees 50′ plus.

Paper bark maple and Snake bark maple have interesting bark and grow to be small trees 15-25 feet tall.

leaves

Acer japonicum Vitifolium is one of my favourites not shown here. It has salmon coloured fan shaped  leaves that turn red in Autumn. Continue Reading →

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Red and Green Should Never be Seen Except in my Garden

How do you plan a colour scheme when gardening with a wide palette of colour. The answer is to use complimentary colours that are directly opposite on the colour wheel. This give a lie to the old phrase about red and green which is about dress sense rather than gardening nous.

Other colour combinations that work well include yellow and violet or deep purple and for the adventurous blue and orange.

wallpaper tulip

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Cornus Chop – Dogwoods Bark Red

Cornus Alba Siberica

The first week of March and it was time for me to chop the Cornus Dogwoods down to size. The red stems that have shown up so well during winter will never be the same again if left on the shrub so they are ‘out for the chop’.

Pruning Cornus

  • Cut all the upright stems down to within 3 – 4 inches of the ground.
  • Water well and mulch the stump with good compost or manure to encourage new growth. Dogwoods like water!
  • New stems will grow, show leaf, flower and be ready for another winter display come Autumn.
  • Some pencil thick stems, 6 inch long, can be used as cuttings for growing new plants.
  • Check around the stool of the plant as you may have several new plants available from the layering of the old stems – any with roots can be severed from the main plant and relocated.

There are many other interesting Cornus trees and shrubs or new Cornus Alba Sibirica plants can be bought via Amazon
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Ideas for a Purple Patch

Primula 'Elizabeth Burrow'

This delicate little Primula ‘Elizabeth Burrow’ is not the best example of a purple patch plant as it is little bigger than a £2 coin. Primula Denticula however can be a real stunner with lilac or purple flowers on lollipop stems. This is just an example of the range of purple colourings available on modern plants ranging from deep violet to lilac.
Also from the Primula family come the Japonica and Harlow Carr Hybrids that often sport a purple hue to the flower-heads.

Kew 365
At the red end of the purple spectrum this cyclamen make a strong colour statement and it could be paired with the 18″ high Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’. There are also many purple Rhododendrons for early flowering like the compact Ramapo.

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Blue Iris and Geranium up Close and Personal

True blue is not a colour that is all that common in the garden. Doubtless you have your blue favourites but these two photographs caught my imagination.

Close inspection of a bloom is often repaid by new insights into a plants capability. I particularly like veins and the shadow of the stamen on the Geranium.

Thanks to FMC and flickr for the Creative Commons License.

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Yellow Snow and Yellow Plants

Snow theme

I was always taught ‘not to eat yellow snow’ but the yellow in our snowy garden caught my attention. This Witch Hazel was positively glowing and offered a bright spark on an otherwise dull day. The tree has seldom been pruned and is now over 10 feet tall with a very lax and open habit. This means I can see large quantities of blossom on the branches in January and get the scent on a still day.

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Soft Garden Colours

Planning colour schemes can be an interesting exercise for summer when the garden needs less attention. You can sit and admire your current efforts and plan from the new catalogues that are arriving.  Observe what has worked well in your local gardens this year and do not be afraid to copy or improve on someones idea. I have been take by soft colour schemes that forswear reds oranges and purples in favour of a more pastle approach.

Pastel Pink Colours

  • Soft pink rather than shocking pink is restful and ‘the very essence of the traditional garden’ (Lance Hattatt Gardening with Colour)
  • The combination of this low growing Dahlia ‘Rosea’ has worked well with the continuous flowers of the hardy Geranium Anna Folkard. The strappy leaves of a pink Schizostylis will come in to flower in autumn hopefully before the dahlia has finished.
  • An off white or cream flower can also be used with pink to lighten up the general effect.
  • Phlox paniculata ‘Fairy’s Petticoat’ is a personal favourite with a pink eye and a lighter outer to the petals.
  • Pink can vary from the white with a pale blush through warm and cool shades to orangey pinks or blue tinged pink. This is seen in a range of single Roses   including    ‘Pink Bassino’ with a prominent white eye, the magenta ‘Pink Meidiland’ or the distinctive apricot pink of ‘Irish Elegance’.

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