Autumnal thoughts on greenery and the joy of annual bedding plants

Friday, 13 October 2017  |  Alison

I wonder if it was an omen, good or bad, depending on your viewpoint, that Pantone chose a green shade, called Greenery, for their colour of the year for 2017.  I say this because greenery has featured heavily in my garden this summer.

This is largely due to the fact that we have had a damp few months (year) overall which has resulted in a plethora of nature’s best green hues on show throughout the season.  From the brightest acid greens of the tiniest ferns to the darkest leaved camellias and conifers, there has been greenery as far as the eye can see, and actually it has all been rather wonderfully calming for this garden lover, especially with my choice of annuals this year to boost and enhance the background shrubs and evergreens that are the backbone of the garden.

Being born into a fire sign month, not that I am superstitious or anything you understand or check my horoscope in the Sunday supplements, I am usually attracted to anything that is red; although blue was always my favourite childhood colour and black is my default clothing colour choice; whilst out and about I am always drawn to and can be found photographing red pillar boxes for example, but I digress.

Usually in the summer months I am surrounded by balls of bright red geraniums, fire-engine red begonias, scarlet verbenas, tiny cherry red Tumbling Tom tomatoes and cascades of blue sapphire lobelia in hanging baskets and tubs with ruby red penstemons, fiery red lupins and bright orange/red nasturtiums creeping through the borders.  But this year, on a whim, I opted for the paler hues of pinks, mauves and silvers and Black Opal cherry tomatoes!    

Think dainty pink diascias, blush pink Sunpatiens, rose pink calibrachoas with a splattering of Crazy pink petunias.  For the borders, strawberry pink mallows, pink lace monardas and the mauve tones of Nemesia mixed with the silver foliage plant Cineraria.

I feel calmer just imagining it all and I think the softness of these shades gave an altogether more relaxed feel to the garden and had a lot to do with the natural gelling of gentler colours with all the greenery around which kept the overall feel, one of calmness and tranquillity. 

The use of colour themes in the garden or just a few pots can create such diverse auras and the best thing about using annuals is that you can have an almost instant change for a few months and then alter the look the following season.  It doesn’t need to be expensive either with many seeds and plug plants available. Click here to view our plug plant and seed ranges.



No parched lawns for me this year either and plenty of rainwater in the water butts to keep my tomatoes alive in the greenhouse and although there has been a distinct lack of sun this year my greenhouse plantings have ripened eventually and tasted sumptuous.  Black Opal cherry tomato was a success and a few even made the journey back into the kitchen to make super salads for all to share.

I may wait and see which colour Pantone go for next year before I make my final choices for annuals next year, but then again I may just go ‘off piste’ and choose white for my colour of 2018 . But in reality of course I want it to be red.  ‘Fingers crossed’ folks!


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Wednesday, 11 October 2017  |  Alison
October in your garden

Did autumn seem to appear overnight this year where you live? It certainly did here in Staffordshire. As September faded, autumn arrived on the 1st October. Trees that were full of green leaves one day were transformed into the dazzling colours of autumn - golden yellows, oranges and reds that signify summer is a distant memory and winter not too far away. As the month progresses the leaves will get evermore colourful until a hard frost and a windy day blow them all to the ground.

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Wednesday, 6 September 2017  |  Alison
September in your garden

It’s all change in September as the days become noticeably shorter, the sun’s rays are less strong and shadows stream across the garden in a languid manner in late summer giving a special light to all the late summer flowering perennials in the garden – a sure sign that autumn will soon be upon us and a hundred and one things to get done in the garden before winter sets in.

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Wednesday, 2 August 2017  |  Alison
Alluring Agapanthus - The Lily of the Nile

If you are looking to add a touch of the exotic to your mid-summer borders and pots then look no further than the Agapanthus.  Also known as the African lily and The Lily of the Nile, this elegant plant is neither a lily nor from the River Nile but originates from the cliff tops of the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.     

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