We are starting this new season with a new editor, new ideas and new inspiration in how to use colour in your garden. Colour is one of the major reasons why most of us garden. We want to surround ourselves with the sensuality of foliage in different shades and tones and we want the dazzling hues garnered from a variety of bloom. Preferably for all four seasons. That?s a huge goal but not an intimidating one?if you go at it slowly. What we want colour to do its to revive, refresh and make us feel good. Colour in the garden can be contrasting or it can be harmonious. Too many different colours can leave you exhausted and unsatisfied. And an over-dazzlingly array of colours can make your eye dart about the garden in a confused way.
I?ve found this in the years of going around looking at gardens with the idea of photographing them. It?s almost a given that if the naked eye is darting about (and what is the eye but the most perfect of all cameras), then a photograph is going to look blotchy. This is not what we want to help you make a better garden.
There?s no point in being intimidated by the use of strong colours. But you have to be confident of your own taste to work with colour well. The first and best advice is to look around in your house. What pleases you most? Then, put plants in the garden to echo your own palette. Gardens should reflect many different aspects of personality, not just what?s popular or easy.
We?ve chosen three gardens as exemplary in their uses of colour: Des Kennedy?s on Denman Island in B. C.; Jackie Dean?s in Calgary; and Patrick Lima?s in the Bruce Peninsula of Ontario. All very different sites and all tough climates to garden in. We think their solutions, their choices in plants and how they use colour will help you make better borders as you move plants around this summer.
Start a new season with us, charged with optimism and a colour-filled sense of purpose.