Tag Archives | colour

Green and Red Compliment your Spring Garden


The two best complimentary colours are Red and Green.  There are many ways this is demonstrated in the spring garden and they will be sure to draw compliments. The Peonies are just opening under a bit of shelter and shade.


The early Rhododendrons escaped frost damage and the red flower is set off by the texture and green of the healthy leaves.

This flowering Quince gave strong colour before many leaves had opened light green but the surrounding grass had been trimed with neat lines in the lawn and the effect was stunning.


See also Colourful Tips for other complementary colour combinations.


These lime green leaves are complementary to the Azaleas bright vermilion.

Some of the best art work by Georgia O’Keeffe is her paintings of Red Poppies. I recommend you try growing Oriental Red Poppies the for your Red – Green garden.

See also Colourful Tips for other complementary colour combinations.


Some colour schemes should never be seen

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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Beat Garden Blues and Bee Happy

Rumour that Bees are in terminal decline is not borne out in my garden this year. The Bees seem very happy on the blue flowers and I am happy as it gives me an excuse to show some more blue photographs (of flowers!).

It is hard to be ‘blue’ when your senses are fully engaged.

  • Creating a buzz provides a new sensory experience in the garden and it make a change from the sound of wind and the patter of rain.
  • On the other hand I have just felt the pain from pruning a very prickly leaved Berberis that will now have fewer blue berries for the blackbirds later this year.
  • The Californian Lilac below is exuding its share of perfume to scent the nostrils.
  • I can barely wait for the Blueberry and Bilberry season to deliver the taste of my favourite fruit. I can’t think of a blue vegetable unless you count purple sprouting broccoli but if I have missed your favourite let me know.
  • ‘Seeing red’ as a phrase could be replaced with ‘seeing blue’ when you consider some of the great blue flowering plants.

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Best Garden Colour – Yellow?

Is yellow your favourite garden shade or colour. Certainly it is present is so many plants if only as pollen or as straw as old grass dies and colour fades away. At it’s brash best Yellow is stunning well able to stand on its own aor as support to other plants. With some plants such as Choysia even the leaves can be yellow.


For traffic stopping colour in your garden then you need blocks of the same plant all flowering at the same time. These primula are in a near-by garden in a long row against a wall. It catches early morning sun and is protected from wind and the worst of the frost. The colouring is stronger than the primrose or many other primulas and even one or two plants whould look good but massed together they are stunning. Continue Reading →


Orange Flower Photo Club

I have just bought a non-stop flowering begonia cunningly entitled ‘Begonia Orange’. Here are some more orange blooms until the begonia gets going.
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We host a lot of our pictures on Flikr but regrettably I do not include much in the way of description, comment or location.

One feature of Flikr that I am using more progressively is the Groups feature. Here you can link your pictures to the club or group by theme. Some gardener related themes are based on flower colour or family grouping like Iridacea. I have posted several Orange Flower Photos to the club link.

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Flikr Orange Group Rules

  • Post your pictures of Orange Flowers to the group and your photos will get many more views than they would in a general flower group.
  • There are currently 3874 members displaying a total of 17,760 flowers photos. (Oct 10 2011)
  • The simple rules allow you to post 3 photos a day to the group.
  • Real flowers only that are as close to their original appearance in nature as possible.
  • Pictures should feature the flower or flowers, preferably up close. lease do not post pictures where the flowers are only a small focal point.They should be the main part of the picture.
  • Don’t post the same picture to more than one of the color flower groups. Decide which color group it best fits, and only post it to that group.

gerberas a smile
This Gerbera has been distorted by nature and other flowers from the same plant are unlikely to be the same. This feature is called fascination and can happen in many species of plants.

Poppy Polly

This poppy hints at the tints of orange from just off yellow through to the near full blooded red with orange overtones in the begonia in the featured image on the blog.

See our colour wheel article


Rose or Wallflower?

Can you tell what this frosted yellow flower is that is starting to show colour and now getting into full scented blossom? It still thinks it is 2015 and our mild wet weather has contributed to a range of ongoing flowers.


This picture with the low wall in the back ground will give the game away.


Tips Growing Wallflowers

  • Plants are biennial growing one year and flowering the next
  • Select your seeds soon and plant them in June or July. As the plants grow pinch out the tops to encourage the plants to be bushy.In autumn plant in there final flowering position
  • Select individual colours rather than mixed packets for a blaze of spring colour. Cloth of Gold is a fragrant yellow, the Bedder series comes in Orange, Scarlet, Primrose and there are Blood Red and White varieties
  • Wallflowers are from the same brassica family as cabbages and it is advisable to plant in a new area each year to avoid club root disease.

Rose buds at Christmas are not all that unusual. This book however contains details of unusual and generally excellent roses.
Book Cover

Some types of Rose include English & Old Roses, Hybrid Teas and Floribundas, Patio & Small Roses, Species and Moss Roses, Shrub Roses, Climbing Roses and Rambling Roses. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.


Purple Pansy Please

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Winter pansies start to come into their own in February and March. It is also a great time to stock up on new pansies for the coming year.

Increase Your Pansies.

  • Kinder pots of seedlings are available for sale in many garden centers but they are usually only available for a few weeks. You need to prick them out and grow on so they are labour intensive but you may get as many plants as you would from your own seed packets.
  • Plug u grow are slightly larger pansy plants that also need protection and growing on until planted out.
  • Seed packets are available mail order or at many retail outlets. Purple rain smaller F1 spreading pansy Bingo a deep purple and Karma may fit your colour schemes.
  • In spring small and large trays of pansies are offered in ready to plant out modules. Thompson & Morgan search for seeds and plants

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Shocking Colour Combinations


The soft pink and pale blue are a bit sugary for many gardeners but  the idea of tall spiky plants flowering together inspires other combinations. The Delphinium is perennial whilst the Foxglove is  biennial and has been placed just in front of the Delphinium to get the effect. The spikes inspire both in colour and architectural shape.

Pink & Blue Ideas

  • A Califonian Lilac Ceanothus impressus has bursting blue flowers and could be under planted with Bellis Perennis Pompomette a double daisy in shades of pink. Avoid the red  Bellis plants as they will clash.
  • Silene schafta is a magenta -pink and for low growing rockery plantings it can be mixed with the blue Campanula porteschlagiana.
  • Bearded Iris have many strong blue varieties and  pink Peony Sarah Bernhardt will make the blue and pink connection with mixed foliage shapes and textures.
  • In mid spring we are familiar with the Jan Boss and Delft Blue hyacinths but I find the contrast fails to inspire me and I would go for a different combination.

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Cornus Family of Dogwoods


Cornus controversa is a striking tree with tiered habit and heads of creamy-white flowers in May leading to it’s nickname The Wedding Cake Tree. The leaves of Cornus controversa Pagoda are a vibrant, dark green in spring and summer before turning a rich, plum-purple in autumn. The shrub is robust and can be seen growing to 50 feet in the national collection of Cornus at Newby Hall Garden.

This Cornus Kousa Rosea is a great shrub about 4 feet tall with a tiered habit and bracts around the flowers of reddish pink.

Cornus mas forms a large shrub or small spreading tree up to 15 feet tall with shiny, dark green leaves which turn reddish purple in autumn. It is grown mainly for its profusion of tiny golden yellow flowers which are borne in rounded clusters on bare stems before the leaves develop, giving a cloud of welcome winter colour. The flowers are followed in summer by unusual oblong shaped, fleshy, bright red, edible berries, hence the common name cornelian cherry.
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Dogwood Colour Schemes

Cornus are great for your garden and the colourful dogwoods are easy on the eye.
Green shoots cornus dogwood

What is looking  good in your winter garden or locally at the moment? Look around now because you can start on next years garden to create a sight to behold. Locally I saw several dog woods that would make an interesting winter feature in my garden if I can find the space. I am less sure about the chicken wire on my picture above but I guess it gets covered in greenery by spring.
Dog Wood Cornus

Tips on Cornus – Dog Woods

  • Dog woods are an extensive family including trees up to 10 feet tall. Planted now they can thrive in wet or dry soil
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