50 shades of green

Summer border with Hosta Halycon, Hosta Krossa Regal, Rodgersia podophylla ,  Osmunda regalis, Geranium macrorrhizum Album and Carex elata Bowles -© Adrian Bloom/GAP Photos

Summer border with Hosta Halycon, Hosta Krossa Regal, Rodgersia podophylla , Osmunda regalis, Geranium macrorrhizum Album and Carex elata Bowles -© Adrian Bloom/GAP Photos

Lush, zesty, emerald, verdant – there are infinite ways to describe the most prominent colour in our gardens and an equal number of techniques to apply it, too. Creating a tapestry of green is an underrated and often refreshing way to look at plant combination and design. By focusing on this single colour, you observe plants in a different light. No longer are you drawn by punchy reds and lustrous purples – your eye instead is attracted to architectural foliage playing with light and shadow, subtle undertones of steely blue sitting next to diffused burgundy, and blocks of universal colour versus multi-tonal variegation.

Very few plants flower for more than three months of the year, so once those prima donna blooms have faded from the limelight it makes sense to ensure you’re not left high and dry by checking out the supporting act they’ve left in their wake. The glaucous foliage of hostas, cardoons, verbascums and stachys break up rich green hummocks of cranesbill geraniumsphlox, monardas and delphiniums. The strap-like foliage of day lilies, agapanthus and kniphofias add vertical accent that draws your eye among alchemilla, heleniums and violas. And who could fail to feel spring-like while gazing upon vivid lime green splashes of shuttlecock ferns, euphorbias or Physocarpus ‘Dart’s Gold’? Green is just waiting to be explored.