How to have colour in the cottage garden style town garden without it being too much work for one person to manage.
Well I would find it very hard work to have colourful flowers in my garden through the year. The planting in my front and back garden is 95% green, and yet it’s a very colourful garden.
Colours in the front garden
In my long front garden the permanent colours are green, golden yellow and purple.
Green planting, golden yellow front door, golden yellow big ceramic pots below
and purple table and chairs next to perennial wallflower “Bowles Mauve”
Then the fleeting colour through the year will be from yellow daffodils, orange and red tulips, purple and pink hardy geraniums, mauve thalictrums
and purple alliums
golden Japanese ferns and grasses
geranium “Patricia” above, yellow self-seeded poppies, and a big clash of red valerian next to some acid green euphorbia.
There are other colours dotted about from flowers too small to be seen individually : red salvias, orange and red geums, more hardy geraniums but the main colours that hit your eye are the three. The overall look from the planting is a wash of mid-tone colour from small flowers over a sea of green. The only colour I avoid is white as I find it sticks out like a sore thumb.
Colours in the back garden
In the rectangular back garden there’s a different mix but the same idea. Green, tomato/terracotta red and Mediterranean blue are the three colours that stand out.
Again the planting is predominantly all kinds of green. Grasses,
an acer and some ferns in pots
and lots of pots of golden marjoram around the garden for a bright splash of colour
Some pots are blue ceramic, some red ones that match the parasol and some terracotta.
You’ll see our chairs are also very colourful. Some pots are the lovely handmade ones which last forever from Whichford Pottery and some are old ones from plant fairs.
Colour in the borders is again a wash of small flowers from simple common plants.- astrantia, perennial wallflowers, oxalis, loads of hardy geraniums, campanula; hellebores and daffodils and tulips in spring, then Japanese anemones in autumn.
Because I don’t want the fuss and the effort of the showstopper flowers it means I don’t have the wonderful colours of lupins, delphiniums, peonies, roses, dahlias cannas, or irises. Those big blowsy blooms are fabulous and I look at others’ photos with envy but it’s just too much for me to introduce those into the garden. Believe me, I have tried.
You can see me dressed in all these lovely colours when I did a tiny bit of TV about it here
I’m going to plant a couple of roses this autumn to get back that colour and scent I remember I had before so I’ll need to choose carefully. No more packed petals though. I want single flowers now as they are so much more useful for wildlife. Happy Summer to all.
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11 comments on "How to use colour in the cottage garden style"
Fabulous Julie. You are so clever and I love your restrained use of colour.
If you’re after single red roses I can recommend both Altissimo – a lovely bright flat red climber and also Dusky Maiden – another single wit a dusky tinge. (Not much scent though I’m afraid!)
Thankyou Sarah for those lovely comments. Well I don’t need scent as it will be quite far from my nose and I won’t be cutting it for a vase so just a good doer is what I need. I will check those two out, thanks very much.
Really pretty! Have you considered Nepeta – the bees love it, and you can cut back for a second, more modest, flowering
Well interestingly I have planed it over the years but it disappears! Where has it gone? Maybe our many cats have sat on it and squashed it. I do have some little patches of it here and there but no big clumps but I will try again – purple- good idea. thanks for the suggestion. best wishes, Julie
Lovely plan for gardening to keep things simple. I’ll have to consider this as I continue to age. It gets harder every year to maintain. Some of the most striking gardens are those with a simple palette and theme. You’ve given me something to think about.
Thankyou so much for your comment Cindy – glad to have given you something to think about. That’s what blogs are all about. Let us know how you get on, best wishes Julie
I’m with you on the percentage of green and I love ferns too and single flowers rather than doubles. I bought a Simple Life rose a couple of years ago. It is a short climber with an abundance of medium sized pale pink blooms now and again in late summer. They last only a couple of days each but they bloom in succession so the shrub is dotted with colour for several weeks at a time. It is by far the healthiest rose in the garden – not a black spot in sight.
That rose sound great Ingrid, as it’s the overall look I’m after and not big individual blooms,
Glad to hear others have so much green – I know some have only green, ferns and hostas etc but sounds like ours is mixed. Thanks for getting in touch, regards, Julie
I have lots of green and green-gold in the garden because I have too much shade in most of it for the likes of the big flowery fancies. I need to brighten up the accent pots, thanks for the examples of how this can be wonderfully done.
Looks into eupatorium polychroma. Will fit in with your colors very well and it’s easy care.
Oh thanks. I always love to hear of other’s ideas. Very best wishes, Julie