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Wednesday April 17 , 2024

Blue Daisy Blog

Blue Daisy blog written by Nicki Jackson & Jules Clark - for news, views, garden design, gardening and plant observations and thoughts.

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Colour in your Garden

Posted by on in Garden Design


How people use colour is quite personal and if one person said the colour red to 20 people, those 20 people would view the colour red in different tones or hues.  This means that colour is subjective and is undoubtedly affected by our own likes and dislikes as well as location, light levels and use of the garden.

Colours can appear in different ways to us for example, red is classed as a ‘hot colour’ and it really does demand your attention and has the effect of coming towards you.  Yellow also comes towards you but isn’t as demanding as red yellow tends to reflect available light.  Green is ‘cool’, it makes a good backdrop to other colours and blue is a very cool colour that often seems to merge with the background and looks smaller to its red counterpart.  

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Planning for Spring in Autumn

Posted by on in Garden Design

Tulip 'Ballade'

Yes, that’s right and there’s no better time than late autumn to plan for spring!  The garden centres, nurseries and in some cases even supermarkets have huge amounts of spring flowering bulbs for sale right now so it really is the perfect time to buy and plant them.   Just the sight of snowdrops or daffodils can make even us feel just a little excited that spring is on the way and the cold Winter months are being left far behind us.  Spring plants are also one of the earliest sources of nectar for our emerging bees and other pollinating insects that really need do need a food source.

Some people I have spoken to see bulbs on sale and buy a selection of those they know or have heard of and plant them up and there is nothing wrong with that at all.  However, if this is you why not try something different this year and here’s a few questions to ask yourself which could influence your decision:

  • What bulbs did you buy last year?  
  • Does your garden have a particular colour scheme throughout the year?
  • Are you aware of any planting gaps in the borders around spring?

Once you have the answers to these questions you’ll have more of an idea how to plan for early colour next year.   If you don’t have a colour scheme in your garden don’t worry just try to think of a pleasing colour scheme and use it to plan for spring, it will be fun!  

There are so many different varieties of tulips some are late spring and others early summer but you can find those that are a solid colour and others mixed.   Let’s take soft, muted pinks and purples as our colour scheme for this example Tulips, e.g. Tulipa ‘China Pink’, T. ‘Ballade’ (see main photo, above), T. ‘Greuze’ or T. ‘Queen of the Night’.  So, where do daffodils fit with these colours?  There are several varieties of daffodils that are white or cream with limited yellow in the centre so you could look out for those rather than the bright yellow ones that are likely to clash Narcissus actaea e.g. Narcissus ‘Actaea’ (photo, left) or N. ‘Cool Crystal’.  White is a colour that is often used sparingly in planting design for the eye to naturally rest and this provides a comfortable break or pause from colours.  Snowdrops will do this perfectly, there are so many different varieties why not try a different one this year?  You could try Galanthus ‘Atkinsii’ or G. elwesii. There are a huge variety of bulbs or other small flowering plants in so many different colour schemes that can add interest in your spring garden such as Fritillaria meleagris, Anemone blanda ‘White Splendour’, Eryanthis hyemalis, Muscari armeniacum, Primula vulgaris also crocus and various cylamen.

Once you have decided upon your bulbs check which months they flower to ensure that you have colour as early as possible and every month right through until your established garden plants begin to come into their own.  Don’t forget to plant up your containers too as they will give you more interest and you can move them around the garden. If you have squirrels in your area lay some chicken wire or similar over the containers for protection until they start to grow.

The next stage is to buy them and remember a tool to plant them with, if you have only bought a few you would get away with a hand held tool if you’ve bought a lot it would be worth investing in one with a long handle that you can use standing up.  Buying the right tools for the job makes the job much more pleasurable and less painful!!  

We’ve only really touched lightly on planning for spring, if you want to know what to do now for your garden in spring give us a call we’ll be happy to come out and give you some advice.


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