The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Garden planning


By Raquel


Well, I’ve never been much of a planner, especially when it comes to gardening…I usually plant what I like and don’t even think about whether the colors clash and whether the plants get along…in some ways I’m a gardening nightmare, I’m sure! My problem is that when I see flowers I like I usually want one of every color!

So recently I’ve been buying flowers whose colors “feel” right – Last year for example, I felt very attracted to white flowers and purple flowers – hence the ‘Americana violet’ geranium! It just seemed like such a cheerful color to me. And I also planted ‘White cascade’ and ‘Daddy Blue’ (really, they were light purple) petunias together. I think I like white because even in the horrible heat and humidity, white seems to radiate coolness to me..somehow it seems to refresh everyhing. I don’t know why I like purple, really, except that it’s a color I tend to choose over and over again, even in my clothes! No, I don’t wear all purple! lol..! But I do have a lot of pieces that are purple or lavender – periwinkle.

This year I’m going more for red – different shades of it, I want some begonias in red and I just bought a gerbera daisy whose flowers are raspberry colored with a hint of strawberry pink…This was actually inspired when I noticed that red and white already predominate on one side of my balcony…I have the red rose and the white rose, as well as the white alyssum (which is gone now)…and I had just bought a new geranium, ‘Americana White Splash’ which has a white flower with a splash of hot pink in the middle…I’de read on GoY about planning a garden so I thought..why not follow the theme I already seem to have and do a predominantly white and red garden on that side of the balcony? We’ll see how it goes!

On the other side of the balcony – well, going onto the landing and into my neighbor’s spot, but since they don’t garden – it’s mine! – I found myself the proud and rather mystified owner of a yucca plant in a huge plastic white pot that was left behind by my neighbors…I never figured out what the poor yucca needed, so eventually the plant died…I may have over-watered the poor thing to death! But anyway, once I threw away the yucca, I had no idea what to do with the white pot….it is in almost complete shade, and since most of my balcony is in full sun most of the day, for a moment I couldn’t even think of what to plant in it! My sister suggested I should use it, though, so eventually I decided on impatiens…and no surprise, they’re a mixture of…drumroll please! …lavender, purple, and light pink…I want to add some white ones (the pot is so huge I need more plants!) but it’s just funny how I gravitated to these colors, and how quickly! =) But while I would like to try different color combinations, this one pleases me and makes me happy, and I think that’s what really counts!

Happy planting!

More blog posts by Raquel

Previous post: Clay, ceramic or plastic pots?

Next post: Stressed roses, or why should I bother with more?



Raquel I can so relate to your colour craziness I find it incredibly hard to stick to a colour scheme although I'm going to try very hard indeed quite soon.Wish me luck!

16 Apr, 2008


Many gardeners in UK will have heard of Christopher Lloyd
considered quite a gardening guru and his home at Great Dixter (kent?).Attracts thousands of visitors each year sadly he died recently well into his 90s .
He was bold and daring with colour for years putting combinations together many would find garish . When asked why he would say because I like it.
Says it all dont you think? Go for it Raquel .

16 Apr, 2008


Your right Bonkersbon If you like it plant it anything go,s in my book

16 Apr, 2008


Hi Racquel,
Think of 'painting with plants' and you wont go far wrong.
If you get some free paint colour slides from a D.I.Y store this can help with selections of colour for planting schemes, although there are some colours that relate more easily to each other, and of course there are 'cold' colours and 'warm' colours. These can alter our moods and feelings as well. If you can get a copy of the book 'Christoper Lloyd& friends. Exotic planting for adventurous gardeners'
B.B.C Books - it really explains his ideas about using exotic plants and colour in the garden.He really knew how to be bold with colour, but he also knew exactly how to combine colours and he was very selective with the colours he used.

16 Apr, 2008


Sorry Grenville but to me gardening is about personal space. I can appreciate the beauty of your garden and how it sits in your enviroment .It seems to compliment your home and your ethos in harmony its how you want your garden to be and your love of it relects in your blogs and beautiful photos.Would I want it in my rural setting - no way ,anymore than youd want my overgrown untidy jungle in yours.My point to Raquel was she should do what she feels comfortable with its her personal space and an opportunity to reflect her own personality within her garden. Isnt that what we all do?

16 Apr, 2008


Thank you all for your comments, I always love to read (I was going to say 'hear'!) what people have to say!

Bonkersbon and Grenville: I can see the good in both your comments - I do think I see the garden as a personal space, yet...yet...yet...there are times when I think a little more structure wouldn't be bad...but unstructured wildness is also beautiful (but is it really unstructured? You should read a book called 1491, which is not about gardening at all, but contends that the "wild" forests of North America and even the Amazon rainforest were actually structured landscapes which were harvested by the Native Americans. Very interesting!). I had never heard of Christopher Lloyd but will be on the look out for his book, I love books and I love books with beautiful pictures even more, so even though I may not ever copy what he did (I'm curious as to what he considered exotic plants), I will definitely find it inspirational...the pansies I planted were inspired by a photo in one of my gardening books.

Helo: good luck with your color scheme - but if it gets too restrictive, just let go and let it burst into a rainbow of colors! =)

22 Apr, 2008


Janette: it's nice to find people who agree with planting by feeling, as it were!

22 Apr, 2008

Add a comment

Recent posts by Raquel