The Garden Guide

Book: Colour schemes for the flower garden
Chapter: Chapter 14 Groupings of plants in pots

Colour in tubs

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For the same kind of use the Tree Lupines, both white and yellow, would be excellent. Funkia Sieboldii {Hosta sieboldiana} also makes a handsome tub, while for summer filling Cannas are admirable and old Geraniums in bush form always acceptable. I have never seen Acanthus used in this way, but can see no reason against it. The smaller Bamboos, such as the handsome broad-leaved B. tessellata, are very good in tubs. In speaking of plants suitable for tubs, I take the word to include the larger sizes of terra-cotta pots; but Agapanthus should never be planted in earthenware, as the roots, which remain for many years undisturbed, have so strong a rending power that they will burst anything less resisting than iron-hooped wood. It is rare to see, anywhere in England, plant-tubs painted a pleasant colour. In nearly every garden they are painted a strong raw green with the hoops black, whereas any green that is not bright and raw would be much better. This matter of the colouring of all such garden accessories as have to be painted deserves more attention than it commonly receives. Doors in garden walls, trellises, wooden railings and hand-gates and seats�all these and any other items of woodwork that stand out in the garden and are seen among its flowers and foliage should, if painted green, be of such a green as does not for brightness come into competition "During the last year or two some pretty incidents have occurred about these... shallow steps; not important enough to call garden pictures, but charming and interesting and easily enjoyable because they are close to the open garden door of the sitting room and because they teach me to look out for the desirable things that come of themselves." Here, self-seeding has led to an effective and well-established growth in the crevices of steps with the green of leaves. In the case of tubs especially, it is the plant that is to be considered first�not the tub. The bright, harsh green on the woodwork makes the colour of the foliage look dull and ineffective. It would be desirable, in the case of solitary tub plants, to study the exact colour that would be most becoming to the flower and foliage; but as it is needful, to avoid a patchy appearance, to paint the whole of the tubs in any one garden scheme the same colour, a tint should be chosen that is quiet in itself and that is lower in tone than the dullest of the foliage in any of the examples. Moreover, there is no reason for painting the hoops black; it is much better to paint the whole out of one pot.