Paint the garden in summer colour


Cape Town – Summer is here! There are fewer garden chores to attend to and more time for you to enjoy your outdoor space.

In the garden colour can be used to create impact and atmosphere. Bright colours are full of energy, while those on the cooler side of the colour spectrum evoke calm. Stamp your personality on your garden with the colours you love.

Choose colours in varying tints and tones. There is the delicate lavender, apricot and pink of a sunrise, golden days of sunshine yellow and a bright blue summer sky. Copy the colours of the African sunset and paint the garden in bold strokes of orange, red and violet, filtering down to the deep evening tones of mauve, indigo and violet.


Delicate sunrise

Lavender, apricot and pink are the first colours to lighten the morning sky and awaken the garden, tranquil colours that are welcoming at entrances and in a border that is best seen in morning sun. A blend of pink spider flowers (Cleomes spp.), gaura, perennial phlox and painted tongue (Salpiglossis sinuata) apricot dahlias and roses, lavender iris, penstemon and scabious, catmint and alyssum would work well.

These colours suit beds on either side of a paved walkway framed by a pergola, with columns garlanded in lavender clematis and apricot and pink climbing roses New Dawn, Crépuscule and Clair Matin.

Plant the beds with lavender bushes, catmint, pale and dark heliotrope, Plectranthus “Mona Lavender” and mauve and apricot bush roses Adele Searll, Amarula Profusion, Blue Bayou, Rhapsody in Blue, St Katherine’s and Angel Face.

If you want a garden to enjoy a happy, relaxed atmosphere where birds, butterflies and bees visit, select soft pink, apricot and lavender roses, dahlia, day lily, nicotiana, yarrow (Achillea spp.), daisies and perennial phlox, with splashes of strawberry-red flowers and apple green foliage, colours often seen in watercolour paintings of Victorian cottage gardens.

Silvery-grey foliage plants blend well with pastel colours, are a foil among brightly coloured flowers, and sparkle with dark shades.


Golden days

Yellow and gold are joyful colours, spilling sunshine and bringing light and vitality to a garden with sunflowers and daisies, marigolds and day lilies, yarrow (Achillea spp.), hibiscus and black-eyed susans (Rudbeckia spp).

Many roses come in these shades, including Graham Thomas, South Africa, Leeudoorn’s First Choice, World Cup and Sasol. Grow roses among tawny grasses and with cream, gold and bronze day lilies for a less formal look.

Yellow flowers will anchor a pastel colour scheme and add richness to bold colours; they can be the main player in a border, play a secondary role, or be used boldly as an accent colour. The blue of the summer sky mirrored in hydrangeas and plumbago could be the inspiration for a tranquil water garden.

For an indigenous summer garden on a gentle slope, plant blue agapanthus whose roots will help bind the soil, Strelitzia “Mandela’s Gold”, yellow daisy bush (Euryops pectinatus), African daisy (Arctotis spp.) and blue felicia daisies.


Bold sunsets

These colours are the extroverts of the flower world, exciting, dramatic and stimulating and reflect the warmth of a fire in a fire pit or boma. Enclose the area with strelitzia, pincushion, red-hot-poker, pride-of-De-Kaap (Bauhinia galpinii), orange Cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis), orange gazania, bronze-purple foliage of the hopbush (Dodonaea viscosa), grasses and aloes.

In other parts of the garden, plant drifts of deep orange marigolds with purple statice (Limonium perezii) and mauve verbena. Roses Bushfire, Fairest Cape, Sunset Panarosa and Circus Panarosa are perfect in a sunset garden.


Evening tones

Colours at the end of the rainbow – mauve, indigo and violet – introduce shadows in the garden and add depth among lighter shades in borders.

You have a wonderful choice of plants with angelonia, aster, dahlia, dianthus, hebe, heliotrope, lavender, lobelia, osteospermum, penstemon, perennial phlox, polygala, petunia, scabious and verbena. A cottage garden favourite is annual sage (Salvia horminum) with upright purple bracts.

Grow Agapanthus “Black Pantha” with almost black buds opening to violet-blue, cobalt-blue Salvia “Black and Blue” and purple-blue S. “Mystic Spires’ with silver-grey Artemisia “Powis Castle”; purple verbena and mauve scabious are striking with the chartreuse foliage of everlasting (Helichrysum petiolare “Limelight”).

Kay Montgomery, Independent HOME


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