Date(s) - 14/02/2020
Kilmington Village Hall
BBC Gardener’s World presenter and garden designer, Nick Bailey, travelled from London to give Kilmington Gardening Club a very colourful talk for a wet and blustery Valentine’s Day evening. Centred around his experience, experimentation and recent book, ‘365 Days of Colour’, he brought us an artist’s palette of ideas.
He described how use of the ‘colour wheel’ can demonstrate how planting schemes can be managed in the garden, in order to achieve colourful interest all year round. All gardening is based on different shades of green, acting as a canvas or backdrop for other colours. Plants produce pigments such as chlorophyll, carotenoids, and anthocyanins, which give rise to the colours we see from the wavelengths given off from natural daylight. The whole point of colour in plants is to attract insects for pollination but for us, the human eye is drawn to colour for its beauty and effect. Various combinations of colour complement each other. Oranges and blues go well, apparent when planting Crocosmia with Agapanthus together.
Replications of strong colours can work, such as plantings of Uncinia rubra, Bidens aurea and Phyllostachys nigra.
The second half of the talk focused around extending seasonality. Deadheading or cutting back, or the ‘Chelsea chop’, on plants such as Lupins and Delphiniums for example, will encourage a further show of blooms. By sowing some hardy annuals in autumn or sowing in succession, the season can also be lengthened. Sometimes it is nothing more than choosing plants like Nandina domestica, which have good foliage, flower, fruit and autumn colour all in one or others that flower for long periods. Rosa chinensis ‘ Bengal Crimson’ flowers 365 days of the year, Geranium ‘Rosanne’ and Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ for 8 and 6 months respectively.
Nick rounded off the evening with the concept of ‘follow on planting’, for example planting certain bulbs which will emerge and bloom amongst plants that have started senescing (ageing) or others that just use the framework of other plants as a support but without compromising the effect of the supporter plant. This, perhaps, is for the ultimate enthusiast!