colour around pools, on decks, porches, patios, and balconies.
Are you moving? Take your garden with you. Having done commercial container displays for over fifteen years I want to share some of the tips and tricks of the trade.
The most frequent question I get is “Where do you
get your ideas?” First I ask myself what effect am I trying to achieve: curb appeal? a Zen-like atmosphere? a tropical setting? a country cottage theme? Are there practical needs such as screening, shade or fresh herbs for the kitchen? What
activities are done in these areas? How much maintenance time is there? Ask yourself these questions and record the answers to help visualize your theme.
Once you have a plan, here are some basic rules of thumb to follow. For example, to create curb appeal use complementary colours. I use a colour wheel to find the best contrast that will give lots head turning WOW factor. Alternately a more serene relaxing effect requires pastels, analogous or monochromatic tones with plenty of white in between to give off peaceful vibes. You can find a colour wheel online or save the one below to print out. Or if you need acurate colours you can buy one at Lee Valley Tools .
Instead of colour, what about a black and white theme? Imagine black millet, with an Ace of Spades sweet potato vine (almost black, purple leaves) trailing down alongside white wave petunia or white blooming annuals such as snapdragons, inter-planted with a very dark Black Dragon coleus!
When planning tropical themes you definitely need palm trees, large leaves and vivid flowers such as canna lilies for that island feel. Also look for large trumpet blooms like Hibiscus and even petunia work, as do ferns if palms aren’t found. It’s important to know that most houseplants especially palms are cultivated for their adaptability to low light so be careful when choosing. Only sun loving palms such as Majesty, Queen or Fan palms are suitable outdoors. They become available in spring so ask your garden centre staff if you’re uncertain. But did you know some potted palms can be over wintered in a sunny spot in your home? If you're in the Leeds Grenville area, contact me for sizes and pricing if you want to order a few for yourself. Deadline for orders are May 1st, 2013 !
Still can’t think of a theme? You can play it safe and coordinate with house colour and trim for a unifying effect. Or use a favourite patterned fabric to spark your inner artist. Another fun activity is
to flip through the abundant gardening magazines designed to inspire and excite you into action. Cut out the photos that speak to you and create a collage. This will help you see what styles and colours dominate your tastes and provide a springboard to jump off from.
Whatever you do, planning ahead saves money on impulse buys and guarantees success when the right plants and containers are chosen. Take the time now to dream and next time I’ll discuss thrillers,
spillers and fillers.
Love and Light,