Get ahead with colour for your per­fect gar­den

Kent Messenger Maidstone - West Kent Property - - FRONT PAGE -

Can the colour and shape of plants in the gar­den change the way you feel? You’d bet­ter be­lieve it.

Top gar­den de­signer Tom Massey has re­searched which plants are ex­cit­ing and stim­u­lat­ing and which are calm­ing to plan his Peren­nial Sanc­tu­ary Gar­den for the RHS Hamp­ton Court Flower Show in July.

Tom says: “Dif­fer­ent forms and tex­tures can be vis­ually ex­cit­ing and stim­u­lat­ing, but if you have one sin­gle species it can cre­ate a calm­ing, rest­ful en­vi­ron­ment.”

At the outer edge of his show­piece, the vi­brant red colours will rep­re­sent the in­ner chaos that can come from be­ing at cri­sis point. As the visi­tor takes the jour­ney into the gar­den fol­low­ing a wind­ing gravel path, sounds from out­side the gar­den fade.

The plant­ing be­comes taller and more im­mer­sive and the colour scheme moves through stim­u­lat­ing yel­lows and or­anges to more rest­ful pur­ples, blues and fi­nally, pure green.

To­wards the mid­dle of the de­sign the plant­ing is sim­pli­fied, lead­ing to a calm sanc­tu­ary at the cen­tre of the gar­den. Here the plant­ing changes to a sin­gle species of tow­er­ing bam­boo that screens the out­side world, cre­at­ing a safe haven and place for peace­ful re­flec­tion, hid­den from view.

But you don’t have to cre­ate a show gar­den to gen­er­ate a pos­i­tive at­mos­phere in your out­side space. The use of a par­tic­u­lar palette to gen­er­ate a mood can be repli­cated in many gar­dens, says Lon­don­based Tom.

“Red is a very stim­u­lat­ing colour – it’s eye-catch­ing, it can mean pas­sion, dan­ger and warn­ing, but ul­ti­mately it’s an ex­cit­ing colour,” says Massey, who uses San­guisorba Tanna, Cro­cos­mia Hell­fire and Pan­icum vir­ga­tum Shenan­doah to en­er­gise and up­lift in his own show gar­den. “Red comes to the fore if you want a vi­brant bed.”

Orange hues spark en­thu­si­asm, fas­ci­na­tion, hap­pi­ness and cre­ativ­ity, com­bin­ing the en­ergy of red and the hap­pi­ness of yel­low. If you pre­fer an orange palette, you might try Achil­lea mille­folium Ter­ra­cotta and Kniphofia uvaria No­bilis.

Yel­low is the colour of sun­shine, as­so­ci­ated with joy, hap­pi­ness and in­tel­lect and pro­duces a warm­ing ef­fect, arous­ing cheer­ful­ness and stim­u­lat­ing men­tal ac­tiv­ity, says Tom. It’s an op­ti­mistic, pos­i­tive colour and plants in this band in­clude Helianthus an­nuus and Inula he­le­nium.

Pur­ple is as­so­ci­ated with wis­dom and dig­nity. Plants in this band in­clude Veron­i­cas­trum vir­ginicum Fas­ci­na­tion and Mis­cant­hus Pur­puras­cens. Lilac and laven­der shades also have a rest­ful qual­ity. Blue is of­ten as­so­ci­ated with depth and sta­bil­ity, sym­bol­is­ing trust, loy­alty, wis­dom, con­fi­dence and calm. Plants in this band in­clude Pan­icum vir­ga­tum Heavy Metal and Phlox Blue Par­adise.

At the cen­tre of Tom’s gar­den, is the screen of tow­er­ing bam­boo. The colour palette is pure green, the colour of na­ture, rep­re­sent­ing growth, har­mony, fresh­ness, sta­bil­ity and en­durance.

Green has heal­ing power, it is the most rest­ful colour and it has strong emo­tional cor­re­spon­dence with safety and sanc­tu­ary.

The Peren­nial Sanc­tu­ary Gar­den will be shown at the RHS Hamp­ton Court Flower Show from Mon­day, July 3, to Sun­day, July 9

Pic­tures: PA Photo/think­stock­pho­tos

Kniphofia in bloom

Blue phloxe

Tom Massey

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