Welcome to the new year, I hope that you all had a lovely break.
With gardening enthusiasm at a lull, I like to use this time to start planning my colour and planting schemes so I am ready and excited to go when I can get back outdoors.
Last year I explored indoor gardening via my new book, The House Gardener. I also changed my home colour scheme (which seems to be a yearly ritual) to dark blue which made a nice contrast to my balcony with its mix of deep purple, cerise pink and white dahlias, hydrangeas and violets as well as my essential herb, fruit and vegetable collection to include basil, mint, oregano, strawberries, tomatoes and potatoes.
So what for this year? Well for those of you that know me well, I am a texture addict, so I have started to consider lots of different garden textures for the 2015 plan. My whole scheme is shown pictorially on our Pinterest page but here is a few exerts explained.
Ornamental Grasses. The available textures are abundant and beautiful, and look stunning swaying in a summer breeze. They will also be a great way of adding height and the feeling of space to my balcony. I will definitely be using these for many of my garden designs too. Ornamental Grasses also tolerate a wide range of conditions, require little feeding and are good plants for containers so little maintenance is required.
Mini Pampas Grass
Flowers on my new year list include Clematis, Ceanothus, Nigella, Ranunculus, Poppies, Aliums and Dahlias. I love the varied textures of this bunch from the perfect symmetry of Dahlias to the sharp petals of Nigella.
My love affair with Succulents continues in 2015. It was whilst writing my last book The House Gardener that my journey with these plants began. I love how contemporary they look and they’re so versatile when it comes to planters and containers be it a terrarium, metal vase or concrete planter. You can be really adventurous with them, and done creatively, a display can add a sense of art to the home.
Another pop up plant for me this year will be Eucalyptus. I love this as a back drop for other plants, and like to use it on my balcony and within planting schemes for customers
A recent inspiration for my 2015 colour palette was an apricot Flaming Katie on my sideboard with Farrow and Ball’s Hague Blue as its backdrop.
Peach Flaming Katy (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)
I loved the pastel softness of the flower against the density of the blue, a stunning colour combination in the making. So with this and the aforementioned flowers in mind, I will be opting for a dark blue and pastel palette this year including apricot, orange, oxford blue and cornflour.
So in contrast to my soft pastels, I will be introducing cement planters into the mix. I love the rawness and texture of the concrete and it makes for a refreshing alternative to terracotta and metal. From teeny tiny to larger pots and planters, the contrast it introduces to floral arrangements is perfect for achieving a contemporary feel. We sell a concrete planter on the website, and I have also set a resolution to start making my own! Watch this space…..
Concrete planter (mikado plant)
Another design idea that has caught my attention is a new style of paving which places brass or metal geometrically through concrete. The look is very modern and industrial, and the brass feature is really eye-catching. Check out my Pinterest board for some examples.
I hope that this has offered you some inspiration for the eventual onset of Spring. In the meantime, don’t forget House Gardening is a great alternative to the outdoors.