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The Colour Of My Garden (Part 2)


By louise1


Apart from flower colour in these 2 gardens of mine i have leaf colour !!!

I just adore bronze leaved foliage and without ‘overcooking it’ (a Chris Beardshaw term from Chelsea ‘07 when he described a similar planting!) i incorporate bronze into the front and back gardens but in the back i’ve created a dedicated ‘Bronze Border’

This border is on the ‘top lawn’ and faces south, the garden can get blown about a bit by the south westerlies when they come but it’s a mild area and i’d say i was quite lucky that i’m not ravaged by coldness here.

The bronze border is a small area (the whole garden only being roughly 30×30) of about 12’ long by about 4’ wide.
It has another normal ‘green’ border to one side and the other side is the dry stone wall border where i have continued the bronze theme as you round its corner.

I’ve used shrubs to provide the necessary backbone and perennials to underplant, fill in and break up texture and colour.
To break up the dark colour i’ve used Leucothoe ‘Rainbow’ for its red, green and variegated leaves, amber coloured Heucheras, green ones too, greeny-browny grasses, pink Aubretia, pink flowering Gypsophila and pink flowering Clematis Piilu.

The bronze leaved shrubs are …..
Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Purpureum’ (x2 and kept to a fairly upright habit)
Phormium ‘Bronze Baby’ (3’)
Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’
Carex flagellifera (18")
Carex testacea (12")
Phormium ‘Jack Spratt’ (10")
Also spreading over the top of the wall, Sedum hispanicum glaucum (pink hues)

I’m going to try and show next exactly how i’ve done it …..

This is standing looking from left to middle, 1st Pittosporum, Leucothoe underneath, Phormium (Bronze Baby), 2nd Pittosporum with Clematis showing through it and Gypsophila under/infront …

This is more middle to right side, shows 2nd Pitt, Gyps, Sambucus, Carex flagellifera infront, Heuchera caramel behind Carex, a purple Heuch in front and then rounding the corner to the border on the top of the dry stone wall …. Carex testacea just visible in the foreground.

This shows from an angle sat on the patio chairs which looks over and across the wall

This picture shows how dark it can look on a grey day. This goes to show that dark leaves aren’t for everyone/every garden, however, if THIS small area can withstand this level of bronze/dark leaves i would have thought any could.
The secret has to be in breaking the colour up properly.

This is a different area of the garden but i still have some bronzes dotted ….. !
This is Heuchera ‘Crimson Curls’ along with H ‘Marmalade’ and Tulip ‘Queen Of The Night’

I hope you like my colours !

More blog posts by louise1

Previous post: Butterflies !

Next post: Princess Diana



Yes louise, I like your bronze border. By varying the leaf form but keeping the same overall tint to the foliage, I think it all hangs together very well

14 Jun, 2009


Wonderful choice of planting, with excellent results.
This adds well to the answer you gave me under a photo this evening. Thank you. :o)

14 Jun, 2009


Very effective, Louise. I hope to see it for real as soon as we can arrange it!

14 Jun, 2009


Thats a wonderful display of colour without flowers welldone Louise.

14 Jun, 2009


Lovely colours.

15 Jun, 2009


I really like your colours its has given me a few ideas Thanks

15 Jun, 2009


That's good Donnah, it's always nice when someone else/other people like your ideas isn't it, we're always biased ourselves so it's nice to hear different views! :)

15 Jun, 2009


Very nice.

15 Jun, 2009


The bronze border looks lovely and very topical and inspirational for me as I am having yet another shuffle round of plants and am looking for a couple of dark leaf shrubs to complete the new look. Hadn't thought of Sambucus though....

21 Jun, 2009

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