Saturday, 5 June 2010

Colour of the moment: Red

My gardening footwear
Red is the colour of the moment. 

Do you find that dominant colours change significantly in the garden as seasons pass?  At the moment my garden is coming through its purple phase and moving in to the much hotter red/orange phase.   Large drifts of Alliums and Iris, dainty Primula denticulata, Dodecatheons and Anemones, and the ever prolific Cerinthe are giving way to hot  Geums, Blood red Asparagus pea, rows of red lettuce, Asiatic Lilies and many others.

In keeping with the red theme I have pictured my current choice of gardening footwear.   Of course the good old wellington boot (green) is my general choice for tougher tasks but my ever faithful Vans, of which I have many pairs, serve me well.   A recent post by Charlotte Germane of Daffodil Planter focussed on the footwear of gardeners and I was sad to see that Vans didn't make the cut.  I'm also yet to try Crocs but seeing that Billy models them so well and quite possibly has shares in them I may have to give them a go.
The winged seeds of Acer palmatum
Back to the garden and this little Acer was is really putting on a show at the moment.  Its pendulous winged seeds hang from its branches soaked in sunlight.  
Asparagus Pea flower
The Asparagus Peas (Lotus tetragonolobus), which I planted earlier in the year at the front of the border, are doing really well and their deep blood red flowers are a welcome sight.  Planted more for their ornamental use, these little plants will produce small seed pods that give the plants their name.  Apparently they taste very much like Asparagus but I have heard contradictory stories.  Have you grown these plants?  I would love to hear your stories and I will let you know what my findings are soon.
A beautiful 7-spot Ladybird
Last but not least, even the wildlife has been supporting the red theme.  In fact, I have been praying that ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies get busy in the garden as at the moment blackfly is quite a problem.  Last year I found that by leaving the evil aphids in place the beneficial insects responded well enough to prevent any lasting damage, an approach that I want to replicate for future years.

What colours dominate your garden?  Are there colours that you refuse to grow? And how does colour change how we view gardens?


  1. Wow, sounds like its all happening!
    My garden is a lot more variable. Lots of siberian irises and hesperis, libertias etc, so blue and white, with odd flashes of orange from oriental poppies and magenta from gladiolus byzantinus. Sounds like mish mash, but is over quite a large area. Have done large colour borders in my time and will one day resurrect some photos and blog them, Colour themes are fun!
    Great post. My gardening footwear is less adventurous-old deck shoes!
    Best wishes

  2. My garden currently has a lot a purple in it too, with the self set aquilegias which are purple this year and gorgeous alliums. Love that last photo by the way of the ladybird!

  3. G'day Ryan,
    Where did you get those shoes? Mexico?
    I want some! I like the Asparagus Pea flower. Will have to grow some. Great post
    cheers Ian

  4. My garden is definately in a purple phase at the moment but this has deep cerise and pink highlights with candelabra primulas, peonies and roses. The hotter colours are beginning to show their faces with a geum and rudbeckia in flower

  5. one of the biggest landscape differences b/w australia and england are the colour changes -

    when i first arrived in england i had a strong reaction to the rich grass green - i hated it - it was everywhere (sussex/June)- there was no contrast - i pined for my bleached aussie landscape and harsh blue skies - but I soon learnt that things change very quickly in this country

    i now love the colours

    these next weeks are red - they were orange

  6. Good Evening Ryan - I'd forgotten about this post when I was writing mine this afternoon. I had read yours this morning in my emails...... maybe subconsciously you had placed the thought of red in my head lol. Red is a favourite colour in the garden for me - later on this week I hope to write more about that - I simply adore red foliage plants so for most of the year red is quite a feature colour in the garden.

  7. Thanks for your comments all.

    Robert: Although purple and orange clash on the colour wheel it is one of my favourite colour combos and my garden reflects this somewhat, or at least it did anyway. I will have to sow some Hesperis as I didn't grow them this year. Thanks for the reminder. And don't knock deck shoes, they're considered high fashion at the moment!

    Ian: I wish I had got them from Mexico, I need the holiday! They're quite loud but perfect for gardening.

    Rosie: Thank you for subscribing to email updates. The damsel fly in your lasts post is truly beautiful. I get the odd dragonfly but haven't had a damsel yet. I look forward to reading your next red post!


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