This Begonia Rex is grown for its strongly coloured foliage and the spikes of light blue/white flowers are inconsequential. They can be propagated by leaf cutting, rooting in water or perlite. As house plants begonias like high humidity. There are many interesting Hybrid Begonias with red leaves and they do look a bit different when massed in the garden or grown indoors as a house plant.
Gazania are one of the most colourful of garden flowers. The star shaped daisy like flowers can be up to 3 inches across and are available in a range of colours as this photo shows.
The flowers of most varieties are stripped and zoned. As in this photo they display their vibrant colours even in cloudy conditions but prefer the hot sun.
Americans call it ‘Fall’ and the Brits call it ‘Autumn’ but November’s ‘Backend’ can produce a garden Bonanza.
These flowers are still showing their true colours despite all that our English weather has been able to throw at them.
You can tell the leaves know it is fall and the Cyclamen hederifolium know it is autumn and time to flower.
Dollar Princess was a group of Fucshias I received as cuttings. It took awhile for the flowers to arrive but the late profusion is very welcome.
A bit over blown and beginning to loose their colour the Hydrangeas have enjoyed our wet season this year. The reward is going to be a winter windfall of flower.
The Dahlias have also been a stroke of luck, lasting very well without as much deadheading as they should have received.
The annual Lobelia has surprised my with its deep blue colouring that has lasted all through summer. It may be the autumn light but the intensified colouring seems to have strengthened as the seasons moved on.
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.
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’
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.
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.
Bergenia has some medicinal properties and uses see
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).
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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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