The Garden Guide

Book: Colour schemes for the flower garden
Chapter: Chapter 5 The June garden

Herbaceous border colour schemes

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The plans show the two schemes of colouring. The upper is of white, lilac, purple and pink, with grey foliage; the lower of white, yellow, bronze-yellow and, for the most part, rich green foliage. They will show mainly as Iris and Lupine borders, and are intended to display the beauty of these two grand plants of early summer. The kinds of Iris are carefully considered for their height, time of blooming and colour value. In the yellow border is one patch of clear, pale pure blue, the Dropmore Anchusa Opal, grouped with pale yellows and white. In the purple border are some important front-edge patches of the beautiful Catmint (Nepeta Mussini), a plant that can hardly be over-praised. The illustration shows it in a part of a border-front that is to be for August. For a good three weeks in June it makes this border a pretty place, although the Catmint is its only flower. But with the white-grey woolly patches of Stachys and the half-grown bushes of Gypsophila, and the Lavender and other plants of greyish foliage, the picture is by no means incomplete. Its flowery masses, seen against the warm yellow of the sandy path, give the impression of remarkably strong and yet delightfully soft colouring. The colour itself is a midway purple, between light and dark, of just the most pleasing quality. As soon as the best of the bloom is done it is carefully cut over; then the lateral shoots just below the main flower-spike that has been taken out will gain strength and bloom again at the border's best show-time in August. In another double flower border that is mostly for the September-blooming Michaelmas Daisies the Catmint is cut back a little later.