I'm just home after hosting a wonderful tour of English gardens for Earthbound Expeditions. So many memories and so many ideas – but I wanted to share just a few images that highlight the use of color restraint and how effective that is as a design tool rather than a wild 'jellybean' approach.
The white garden at Sissinghurst is an iconic example of this planting style and color restraint.
Due to a delayed spring, we were fortunate to experience wisteria in full bloom wherever we went. The arbor at RHS Garden Wisley was outstanding, draped with heavily perfumed blooms ranging from white to lavender, all underplanted with purple alliums
The acid-yellow bracts of many varieties of Euphorbia (spurge) set the scene in several gardens we visited. I loved the combination above at Sissinghurst featuring golden-yellow bearded iris, yellow Corydalis and Japanese forest grass backed by splashes of orange wall flowers (Erysimum) and scarlet Ladybird poppies (Papaver communtanum 'Ladybird').
Likewise this combination at Great Dixter screamed citrus colors, this time cooled with splashes of white.
Repeating colors within a vignette brings cohesion to a scene. I was struck by this bearded iris against the brick wall at Sissinghurst – such a clever detail.
Likewise the clematis sheltered beneath the red-toned foliage of a tree, the colors especially appreciated when backlit by the sun – again at Sissinghurst.
Fleeting Garden Moments
Then there are those special moments that just stop you in their tracks. The color may be short-lived in the garden, but lifelong in the heart.
Whether framing a door or gracing a table, these are just some of the moments I know I will recall.
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