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I am always intrigued by the colours that people like in their gardens; two of my neighbours like very deep reds/pinks with a very small amount of white. I prefer blue/yellow/orange/cream/white and NO shocking pink and will only tolerate a small amount of Chinese laquer/brick red. But the alliums that I adore for their shapes are usually a sort of mauve, so I have learnt to like that. A friend is convinced that when a plant nursery sees me coming they swap all the labels around; so I ended up with magenta aubretia that was supposed to be blue What colour combinations does everyone else like?
Blue perennial cornflowers with yellow welsh poppies.
Red tulips floating above forget me nots.
I like pastel colours, blues, pink, lilacs but I also like bright colours dotted about to liven it up. So the red tulips over blue forget-me-nots really appeals. I like bright tulips in the spring, and alliums like purple jewels but over a haze of pretty gentleness. But as summer progresses I start liking sunny colours like golden rudbeckias and orange heleniums.
I love lots of greens with delicate whites. I also love silvers and blues, especially at the end of the day.
My garden is split into four areas plus a veg plot at the bottom. It's still maturing but this year I made an effort to correct last year's colour mistakes...and bring themes to these spaces.
The top garden already had a lot of mature plants that couldn't be moved so I had to organise around those...taking the blues, whites and soft pinks of flowering shrubs and climbers, I have gathered other pinks to this area. With a splash of yellow foliages, I'm hoping the combinations will be romantic.
Gathering up the pinks also served another purpose in the middle garden because I want the middle section to be mostly greens. I love formal gardens and I'm looking for real serenity although I have a long way to go. Mistakes are already glaringly obvious here with too much yellow and a severe lack of structure. I am currently researching a compact round evergreen shrub to live in semi shade at the foot of a beastly honeysuckle...any ideas?
I'd also love still water here and I think this area will be my main revamp for next season. The acer tree and hostas are staying though
The latter half of the garden has a lawn area and stoned courtyard...using the term loosely as its still in its infancy.
I have concentrated mostly on purples and white combinations on the lawn side and am pleased with this arrangement although I have yet to see it through the seasons. the courtyard is still a work in progress, I know what I want but I need trellis fencing and climbers and too much to discuss really, although it will be a lush, shady and very green space. No scary colours and lots of foliage and running water here, if I can ever afford it.
Colour is extremely important in my creative endeavour. I think the plant choices we make really do define the atmosphere in our gardens.
Wintersong, could the round evergreen plant you are looking for be a hebe? I have one on the rock garden and it has only grown about 200cm in about 7 years, though it will eventually become too large and then it will simply be replaced. They have the elegance that you like in your garden I think.
I like blues, pinks, purples, bronzes, rich deep reds and I like to set them off with white flowers and some purple foliage. I also like to play with foliage contrasts so have a rhythm of deep purple and golden foliage plants in amongst all the different shades and forms of green.
I have huge problems with bright orange and acid yellows but I'm learning to use the orange spectrum as long as it's got burnt or russet tones in it. I've just planted up a bed with orange geums, potentillas, rudbeckia and heleniums with tawny irises and some purple flowered bulbs with a bit of purple leaved heuchera and lysimachia firecracker. It remains to be seen how well it does.
Dark purple with yellow or lime green. But also love blue flowers.
I tend to group pastel colours together and same for hot colours. I have a white border which this year I am highlighting with dots of purple. My dahlia bed has a riot of colour all mixed up but with mostly hot colours at one end and pastels at the other. Unfortunately not all of the dahlias are labelled so I have lost the plot so to speak.
I also like blue and yellow together.
All in all I try to plant close together/overplant so that they hit of colour is exagerrated. I grow quite a lot in tubs e.g Gazanias, Pansies, Dahlias, Tulips. Alliums, and I always stuff them in as much as possible.. all for the colour effect.
artjak, Hebe was my first port of call but I'm uneasy about introducing too much white into this area and Hebes mostly flower in purple, lavender or white, unless Im mistaken, and purple/lavenders are a bit too romantic for this space.
I have a very formal image in my head, that focuses on structure and foilage. It's sort of my Death garden...but i don't just want a collection of folklore plants to do with death.
I want a visual death. SO my acer trees and hostas give off the most amazing autumn colours and alongside the steely blues foilage of my euphorbias and rusty heucheras and ferns, I'm looking to tame it all with greens. I bought three Box last year that I've been growing on with the idea of having large box balls in the ground but now they are in larger pots looking damn fine, I can't spoil their good looks by sinking them into the ground.
Fortunately, I have three largish Rosemary that I can keep trimmed and do a very nice job of pretending to be grown up box.
Right there with you Obelixx when it comes to crushing over bronze/rust colours and agree about the rhythm of foliage.
Wintersong, my hebe is in shade so it has never flowered, or it has been so dicreet that I have never noticed.
Wintersong, I always think that Tulips die beautifully, whether in the ground, pots or the flower vase and I always leave them as long as possible to do their thing, slowly twisting, fading, changing colour and losing their petals. Sad, but beautiful.
Have I got the right idea?
Oh haha. How wonderful! I mean...thanks for the tip
It's definitely a possibility. They even have foliage changes, I have two Hebe Red edge in the purple garden but that's because the edges are purple, not red
Isn't it also curious how differently we can perceive colour? I swear that my Potentilla Miss Willmott is Salmon in colour but my husband calls it pink...look, it's pink, it's no where near Salmon.
Yes Woodgreen. I adore tulips for being so elegant. I have queen of the night in my Death garden
Ooh Wintersong, I love Queen of the Night! And mostly everything already mentioned, actually. What is your Death Garden?!
Got my first ever garden 2 and a half years ago and was very determined to keep it all blue/purple/white/silver to start with. Typical of the uninitiated
Then maroons/dark purples/almost blacks started creeping in to accentuate the whites and silvers...followed by bright orange geums...then splashes of yellow...and my favourite now is dark plums and lime greens.
Especially love dark purple violets with white alyssum, black nigra grass with snowdrops, Queen of night tulips with white ones edged in pink...clouds of blue brunnera over teeny yellow narcissus, lime marmalade heucheras against purple hellebores and acer palmatum.
All colours really - they all fit together because of the amount of green that comes with most plants. There have been some accidental colour mixtures that I did not, would not have, planned, and they have been remarkably good. Nature just does what we cannot do, gets it right most of the time. I think the main difference in peoples gardens, as far as colour is concerned, is how formal they want to be. If you want a fairly formal layout then that choice will probably influence the colours you use and put togethr. My garden could not be less formal, so the rather riotous look lends itself more to colour combinations we might not choose in a more formal setting.
Some of the gardens people show here are just so amazingly good, beautifully designed and so on, and I love to see and admire them - but they are not my style. There is room for all of us, and our colour choices I think.
Also our colour perception changes with age I think - my friend disliked yellow in her garden for years, and now enjoys it in moderation. I suspect she sees it differently now - our older eyes may not percieve colour quite as clearly as we once did.
Sorry uploading photo didn't work.
My efforts with colour fall down because I'm always putting in that extra plant because it needs a home.