The Garden Guide

Book: Colour schemes for the flower garden
Chapter: Chapter 9 Bedding plants

Subdued colour bedding plants

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The little garden is an odd-shaped piece of ground, roughly triangular. The main clump is more than thirty feet wide at one end, a width too great to treat conveniently. It has therefore been arranged with a kind of elevated backbone, a few feet wide, raised less than two feet above the level, with dry walling on each side to retain the earth. As it approaches the narrow end of the triangle it swings round symmetrically on each side forward to the path. All this raised part is treated quite differently to the rest of the garden. There is no attempt at brilliant colouring, but rather to have important masses of fine form in a quiet range of greyish tinting that shall serve as a suitable background to the brighter effects. The planting is mainly of Yuccas of both large and small kinds and of two kinds of Euphorbia; the bold and striking E. Wulfenii with its handsome form of leaf-mass and immense bloom, and the smaller E. Characias. Where the walls come near the path there are hanging sheets of the bluish grey foliage of Othonnopsis cheirifolia. As will be seen by the plan, the raised mass is fairly wide at the south-western end. Spaces next the path are filled with flowers of pink and purple colouring such as Heliotrope, Ivy Geranium Mme. Crousse and Verbena Miss Willmott. The star-shaped figures on the plan show the Yuccas; the larger ones are Y. gloriosa and Y. recurva, and the smaller, garden varieties of Y. filamentosa. There is always a good proportion of these Yuccas in bloom during the late summer, so that, standing at the north-west corner, the stately flower spikes have a fine effect rising above the colour masses of the borders on the lower level.