Some Like it Hot

Heleniums, pictured in the garden of Aras an Uachtaran last summer, remind me of an Impressionist painting.

Heleniums, pictured in the garden of Aras an Uachtaran last summer, remind me of an Impressionist painting.

I’m not given to strong colours inside my home, preferring to keep things calm, neutral and restful (apart from the, ahem, ‘lived in’ clutter that is ), but in the garden it’s a different story.

There’s so much green in the garden that I think you need bright pops of colour to bring it to life, and I find myself seeking out strong colours and always looking for new ways to combine them. It’s such a personal thing isn’t it? Gentle soothing colours can be really lovely too, particularly in a shaded garden, where the pale colours really glow. In my garden, where there’s no lawn, I love paler whites and pastels in springtime – like a gentle overture – and then strong, saturated colour – I suppose a bit more like a brass band really!

The hardest thing about all colours is how you combine them – get it wrong and they will look unhappy and uncomfortable together, jarring on the eye, but get it right and the combination will really sing, with the effect being more than the sum of its parts.

The hot colour palette includes reds, oranges and yellows and a planting scheme composed of just these can look fabulous, especially with plenty of green and perhaps hints of copper, rust or brown. Add blues and purples to the mix and the whole effect changes completely. You have to take into account the different shades and how they’ll work together – is your red leaning towards orange or does it contain a lot of pink for example. Also bear in mind the flowering times of your plants as they will need to coincide or at least overlap to get the effect you’re after. What larks, eh?

You can always seek help from a garden designer if it all sounds like too much work. But remember, gardens are about people, not plants – it’s all about you, what appeals to you and what you want to look at in your garden.

Anne Byrne Garden Design provides easy to follow Garden Plans that you can implement right away or in stages. Anne’s design flair and passion for plants brings a touch of magic to gardens of all sizes.

Anne Byrne Garden Design – Creative Ideas – Practical Solutions – Stunning Gardens.

T: 086 683 8098 E: [email protected]


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