Chelsea invites colour in your Garden

Chelsea hits the headlines with it’s latest fashions, in plants, in landscapes and not least in colours. Large-flowered Tangerine Geum’s appear to be attracting a mass of gardeners attention as do brown Iris and a purple infusion from Salvia and Allium.


Whilst Chelsea was a blaze of colour this year the carpet of red woollen poppies was harmonised by the lush greens planting themes featured in many of the displays signalling a ferny revival.


Black flowers have always been popular, a rarity of shade found in flowers that get the pulses racing, but what’s next in the colourful world of plant breeding and colour therapy.

Black or correctly identified as deep purple tulips set the tone, with Viola and even Delphiniums leading us into a Summer of subtle shades.

Tulips, Viola, Delphiniums and even Roses are tagged with the trendy shade of the night. Planting black flowers against lush light green foliage or alongside masses of frothy white flowers add to the contrast, creating a wow factor in your garden. No wonder it has been so popular for so long.

Lantana makes a great feature plant or grows with Yellow Bidens and Orange or even Purple Calibrachoa for a Summertime riot of hot colours.

Perhaps it is time to consider a new vibrant colour but before we do let’s not forget that shades of Purple have certainly held the limelight for several years with the bold, bouncing globes of Alliums raising their heads above dense foliage.

Alliums inject a sense of fun into garden borders with their quirky star-filled, large ball-shaped blooms that retain colour for weeks and dry to form crisp-dry globes of architectural  delight but I digress.

van berkel
Alliums will always have a place in my Gardens.

Try underplanting Alliums with shades of orange, Achillea for example a wonderful sun loving perennial who’s silver aromatic foliage is delicate and frilled, perfect for disguising the rather heavy strap like leaves of the Allium bulb.

Screenshot 2016-05-02 07.23.57
Achillea in shades of terracotta makes  a wonderful addition to hot, dry, sunny borders.

Add a splash of colour to your pots and hanging baskets with Bidens “Fruit Punch” and Calibrachoa “Orange” both available from your local bedding plant stockist in a stunning array of colours. This year I have chosen orange, reds, yellows and a dash of red from a stunning scrambling Diascia for my Summer baskets.

Calibrachoa is like the posh gardeners Petunia or Million bells. Readily available in a huge range of colours you will enjoy painting a palette with the trailing plants.

Large Terracotta containers planted with tropical-tender perennials will also lend beautifully to the happy shades of orange. Choose perennials that have a dark solid background and contrast these with silvers and delicate cut foliage. Lilies are a perfect container plant, enjoy the free draining ability of terracotta pots your sure of a vivid display.

Lilies are easy to grow bulb that can be used for pot’s or why not grow them for plunging in your borders for that added Summertime splash of colour.

Aeoniums, Salvia’s and Artemisia are perfect candidates and in the foreground, a copper leafed Oxalis and tumbling Bidens and Calibrachoa for shots of colour. Height comes in the form of bronze leaf Canna a variety selected for it’s large stunning, yes you guessed it orange flowers.

Tropical Canna makes a stunning feature plant in containers of hot borders.

You have probably already guessed I am going all out with orange this season but remember to add plenty of contrasting colours and shades of greens, silvers and not forgetting the mighty purple and midnight black.

Design Tip: Struggling for inspiration head out to your local garden centre of search the internet for Coleus. The rich colour combinations of the stunning foliage is a delight to behold, some you might fight to gaudy, others a will fill you with sheer joy. Use this as your palette for a selection of tender perennials to contrast and compliment, easy and such a good way to impress or irritate the neighbours.

Coleus also available in Orange, Purple, Lime greens, in fact, you are going to be spoilt for choice.


Asclepias tuberose will set your garden a flutter with the gentle buzz and busy bees.

In conclusion: Colour in your garden, like the furniture you chose, the paving you just had to have, it’s all down to personal preference. This year I’m crazy about Orange although that said I do have a pair of Orange pants that have never seen the light of day.

So today’s new trend will be surpassed by new and exciting colours, shades and tempting tones but in reality, it’s all pretty rainbows of sheer delight.

Don’t forget the wildflowers! Because dancing Golden Yellow dandelions and Vivid Blue, scrambling speedwell are also invited in our Garden.

“Remember a weed is simply a plant growing in the wrong place, if it is not hurting anyone leave it alone. The birds, bees and butterflies will thank you for it.”

Please follow and like us:
About Head Gardener 291 Articles
Award winning, 40 something year old professional plantsman and horticulturalist with National Trust, private parks and estate management background. My vast plant knowledge and hands on techinical experience, afforded me the opportunity to work in various horticultural landscapes, in the UK, USA & Eastern Europe. Having worked in both garden retail & the design service industry gave me the practical diversity and managerial skill set, required for running a large prestigious gardens and stately homes. I strongly believe knowledge is to be shared and have worked closely with people and staff of all ages and abilities keen to develop their passion for gardening, including groups of children, special needs and adults. I have hosted guided walks, talks and tours for those keen to learn about cultivated and wild plants, garden development, history and design. As an member of the NNCPG and National Trust, I am actively involved in the preservation of several important plant collections both in public and private gardens throughout the UK. “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, in a garden it’s paradise” Follow @IGrowHort on GardenTags. Stephen is passionate about gardening as Head Gardener with a team of ten staff he manages a prestigious Cheshire country estate of 55 acres, inc wild flower meadows, woodland, organic kitchen and formal gardens. Follow Stephen today”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply