The Garden Guide

Book: Colour schemes for the flower garden
Chapter: Chapter 8 The flower border in August

Wall planting

Previous - Next

The whole border is backed by a stone wall eleven feet high, now fully clothed with shrubs and plants that take their place in the colour scheme, either for tint of bloom or mass of foliage. Thus the red-leaved Claret Vine shows as background to the rich red region, and Robinia hispida stands where its pink clusters will tell rightly; Choisya and Cistus cyprius where their dark foliage and white bloom will be of value; the greyish foliage and abundant pale lilac blossom of Abutilon vitifolium in the grey and purple region, and the pale green foliage of the deciduous Magnolia conspicua showing as a background to the tender blue of a charming pale Delphinium. ("One cannot write of the garden in July without a word on the Roses... those that most nearly concern the garden for beauty and pictorial effect are the rambling and climbing Roses that flower in clusters." In the background on the wall the climing rose Complicata.) The shrubs and plants on the wall are not all there because they are things rare and precious or absolutely needing the shelter of the wall, though some of them are glad of it; but because they give a background that either harmonises in detail with what is in front or will help to enrich or give general cohesion to the picture. The front of the border has some important foliage giving a distinctly blue effect; prominent among it Sea-kale. The flower-stems are cut hard back in the earlier summer, and it is now in handsome fresh leaf. Further back is the fine blue foliage of Lyme Grass {Leymus arenaria} (Elymus arenarius), a plant of our sea-shores, but of much value for blue effects in the garden.