Friday, 17 September 2010

For someone who doesn't like yellow...

I've been working on a really lovely garden project down in the Scottish Borders since late last year. The clients have been really brilliant to work for and it's been a great opportunity for me to tackle a more traditional design than normal. When we started talking about what plants they'd like to include, Joan talked about her favourite colour being yellow. 'Eeek' I thought - I have gone out of my way to avoid yellow in my own garden and up until now, believe it or not none of my clients wanted to include it either. They usually ask for stuff like this:
or this:
or these:
So it was with a bit of trepidation that I started working on the planting plan, trying to figure out how I was going to make it look exciting and hang together well. I presented the scheme and mood board to client and she seemed to like everything I had chosen. It got planted up at the end of August and I went to have a look at it today to see how it's looking a few weeks on. To my complete surprise I have fallen in love with many plants and combinations that I never would have tried had she not wanted to include so many yellow flowering varieties. Here are some of my favourites:
1) Rudbeckia 'Goldstrum' - why had I never included this in a planting scheme before?? Goes beautifully well with dark purple foliage. I've got it next to a Physocarpus Diablo (thanks Belinda for that great idea!) and there are also purple Salvia nemorosa 'Ostfriesland' nearby.
2) Lupinus polyphyllus 'Camelot Yellow' which is a very pretty pale colour. Again I don't normally go for such 'quiet' shades but I really like this too. It's flowering quite late and next to Echinacea purpurea it looks fab.
3) Hemerocallis Hyperion is a stronger yellow than I thought it would be, but again with the surrounding hot Crocosmias and Heleniums they work well.
4) Kniphofia Alcazar: This one's a bit of a cheat, it's not strictly yellow and I've used it in gardens before. But still worth including. It's next to Aster × frikartii 'Mönch' and they are unexpectedly good together. 
5) Achillea 'Moonshine': I've used Achillea in lots of gardens, but usually the red and pink ones. Red Velvet is a favourite as is Cerise Queen. This is the staple of any late summer flowering border and I will definitely be using it in my garden when I eventually get round to planting it up.
6) Coreopsis verticillata Zagreb: Gavin at my local nursery, Macplants helped me with this little beauty. Joan also asked for lots of daisy like flowers, so this seemed a good choice - it's got really nice fine feathery foliage  & is still flowering it's little socks off.
Working on this garden and on this planting scheme is the most fun I've had in ages, it's been really nice to prove my daft pre-conceived ideas wrong about how twee and daffodil like using yellow can be! PS Included this last photo as the Asters are looking brilliant just now - not exactly yellow, but the centre has to count??  No point trying to change a girl's taste too quickly..