April 2019

April 2019

BE CREATIVE WITH COLOUR

Paint your garden with colourful plants and brighten your outlook throughout the year! Whether you want a calming area to relax or a vibrant space to party, choose colour themes to suit your mood, combining plants and accessories to create the perfect garden for your health and well-being.

Plan the colour of your outdoor space as you would your interior by considering the colour of fences, walls, structures and landscaping materials as well as pots, ornaments, furniture and other features to combine with your favourite plants and flowers.

For somewhere bright and uplifting choose a colour palette with red, gold, yellow and orange – all colours with energy and warmth. Planted in bold bocks around a patio, and matched with furniture in equally uplifting colours, they’ll produce a joyful place socialise outside.

In contrast, create somewhere calm and relaxing using cool colours like blue, mauve and violet, set against a backdrop of green, and perhaps adding pure white and silver for a clean, tranquil effect. With soft chairs to sink down into you’ll create a peaceful and restorative space to sit out and meditate.

Different colours can influence on your emotions in different ways:

RED – bold, bright and stimulating, exciting and eye-catching

ORANGE – warm and vibrant, happy and fun

YELLOW – cheerful and welcoming, positive and stimulating

GREEN – fresh, natural and calming, peaceful and relaxing

BLUE – simple, cool, calming and relaxing

MAGENTA / VIOLET / PURPLE – striking, powerful and energetic

WHITE / GREY / SILVER – pure and simple, clean and classic

Creativity is rewarding and good for mental health, so explore your creative side by combining plants with other materials and features. Pick bold and dramatic plants to form a backdrop and set the stage for colourful seasonal stars to steal the limelight. Mixing things up may be fun, but take care as a riot of colour can look unplanned and disorganised.

Of course, there’s more to choosing plants than just their colour, such as their shape and size, texture, suitability to your site and soil, their season of interest, and more. At the end of the day colour choice is up to you, and if you like it then that’s all that matters!

THE COLOUR WHEEL

Colours can be grouped into four broad categories, starting with the ‘Primary Colours’ of red, yellow and blue. By mixing these primary colours you get ‘Secondary Colours’, so red and yellow create orange, yellow and blue make green, and red mixed with blue form violet. Mixtures of primary and secondary colours are called ‘Tertiary colours, like a green-blue or violet-red. Lastly you have ‘Neutral Colours’ like white, grey, silver, brown and black.

To choose complimentary colours try using a simple visual device called the Colour Wheel. Think of a pie divided into twelve coloured slices running from red to orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and back to red. Colours opposite one another on the Colour Wheel, or equally spaced in a triangle, are the most harmonious, like red and green, yellow and violet, or orange and blue.

DID YOU KNOW?

Colour can influence your visual perception of space. By growing bright red plants at the end of a long, narrow garden you can make it appear closer than it actually is, while cool, blue flowers will look further away, giving the impression that the space is larger. Vibrant colours like red and yellow grab your attention, drawing the eye away from eyesores or views you’d prefer to ignore, while pure white and gold shine out on dull days and brighten a shaded spot.

PLANTS OF THE MOMENT: COLOUR THEMED DISPLAYS

Include colourful plants that add immediate impact as well as things that provide continuity to keep the colour coming right through summer, highlighting colour from foliage, bark and stems, autumn colour, as well as flowers, fruits and berries.

PLANT SUGGESTIONS:

Perhaps use the principles of the Colour Wheel to create displays, or have fun with colourful groupings or partners.

Highlight good planting companions e.g.

Purple & Yellow/Gold e.g. Geranium, Achillea, Rudbeckia.

Red, Yellow & Blue e.g. Solidago, Scabious, Camassia, Scilla peruviana.

Purple, Green & Orange e.g. Geum, Alchemilla, Geum.

Violet, Orange & Green e.g. Campanula, Erysimum, Salvia, Verbascum, Hosta, Euphorbia, Bergenia, etc.

GARDENS TO VISIT:

… for colour-themed inspiration

*  Coton Manor, Northampton – for their Blue & Yellow Border.

*  East Ruston Old Vicarage, Norfolk – for their Red & Purple Border.

*  Hidcote Manor Garden, Gloucestershire (National Trust) – for their Red Borders.

*  Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent (National Trust) – for their White Border.

INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT MORE?

LIVING COLOUR  LANDSCAPES

Using colour therapy in garden design

See:  http://www.livingcolourlandscapes.com.au/using-colour-therapy-in-garden-design/

LIFE HACKER

Learn the Basics of Colour Theory to Now What Looks Good

See:  https://lifehacker.com/learn-the-basics-of-color-theory-to-know-what-looks-goo-1608972072

PLANTS OF THE MOMENT: PLANTING STYLES

Whether its drifts of golden daffodils or a multi-coloured kaleidoscope of tulips, spring bulbs are the perfect choice to fill borders, patio pots and window boxes. Many fill the air with their heady fragrance too, like hyacinth, making them an ideal pot plant to grow indoors.

Keep the colour coming by mixing bulbs with seasonal bedding plants including long-flowering wallflowers, frothy forget-me-nots, bold daisy-like Bellis perennis, pansies and dainty violas, or primulas and primroses. Also choose early flowering hardy perennials like brunnera, epimedium, bergenia, hellebores, euphorbia, and a host of others.

For many, camellias are the plant of choice for classy spring colour, and although they require an acid soil to flourish they can be planted into large pots of ericaceous compost instead.

PLANT SUGGESTIONS:

Any plants providing Spring Colour eg

Spring flowering bulbs

Spring bedding plants, including Senetti

Hardy Perennials such as Perennial Wallflower (Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ AGM), Hellebores, Euphorbia, Bergenia and Bruunera ‘Jack Frost’ AGM

Green perennials to plant now such as Paeonia, Lupin, Delphinium, Hollyhock (Alcea), Digitalis.

Spring flowering shrubs:

Erica x darleyensis eg ‘Ghost Hills’ AGM

Clematis armandii ‘Apple Blossom’ AGM

Oregon Grape – Mahonia aquifolium ‘Apollo’ AGM

Pieris japonica eg ‘Passion’, ‘Flaming Silver’ AGM

Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’ AGM

Camellia, Azaleas, Rhododendrons, etc,

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March 2019

MARCH 2019

CREATE YOUR PERFECT GARDEN

Spring is in the air, and there’s no better time to start planning and planting colourful displays to enjoy over the months ahead.

For instant impact choose plants at their best through spring including daffodils, tulips, fragrant hyacinth (these ideally need planting in the Autumn) and other flowering bulbs, all perfect for partnering in patio pots and flower beds with seasonal bedding like pansy, viola, wallflower, bellis, forget-me-not, primula and polyanthus.

Growing flowers, crops and herbs from seed is also a rewarding way to grow, and perfect if you’re gardening on a budget. Many gardening activities like sowing, potting, watering and planting bring with them the rewards of nurturing and watching plants grow and flourish. By producing wonderful displays and enjoying the fruits of your labours you’ll be satisfying an intrinsic need for creativity and achievement, both important for our mental health and wellbeing.

Gardening is excellent exercise, too. Gently stretching and bending while planting and weeding helps keep you fit and flexible. More active gardening like digging, clearing, raking, sweeping and lawn mowing will also raise your heart rate, and burn off more calories too. Just an hour of active gardening could use around 250 – 500 calories. So, forget joining an expensive gym and get active outdoors in your garden instead.

If your borders lack structure and impact why not plant some bold evergreen flowering shrubs this spring. A wide range is available now to suit all sites and situations, from Viburnum and Camellia, to holly and Hebe. Hedging plants surround a garden all year with a natural, living screen, or buy evergreen Ilex crenata (japanese holly)  to clip into fun topiary features.

Always prepare the soil thoroughly, enjoying the gentle exercise of digging deeply while adding organic composts to improve the drainage, structure and composition of your soil. Not only does regular gentle gardening in the fresh air keep you active it also helps release stress and improve mental health, connecting you with the soil and natural world to provide grounding and a sense of wellbeing.

So, spring into action and get your body and garden into shape for the year ahead.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Green Gym run by The Conservation Volunteers uses natural exercise to promote community health. These fun and free outdoor sessions involve activities like tree planting, sowing flower meadows and creating wildlife ponds. By connecting with nature the Green Gym enhances mental wellbeing, helping people contribute something positive to their community. Find out more at www.tcv.org.uk/greengym.

PLANTS OF THE MOMENT: PLANTING STYLES

Whether its drifts of golden daffodils or a multi-coloured kaleidoscope of tulips, spring bulbs are the perfect choice to fill borders, patio pots and window boxes. Many fill the air with their heady fragrance too, like hyacinth, making them an ideal pot plant to grow indoors.

Keep the colour coming by mixing bulbs with seasonal bedding plants including long-flowering wallflowers, frothy forget-me-nots, bold daisy-like Bellis perennis, pansies and dainty violas, or primulas and primroses. Also choose early flowering hardy perennials like brunnera, epimedium, bergenia, hellebores, euphorbia, and a host of others.

For many, camellias are the plant of choice for classy spring colour, and although they require an acid soil to flourish they can be planted into large pots of ericaceous compost instead.

PLANT SUGGESTIONS:

Any plants providing Spring Colour eg

Spring flowering bulbs

Spring bedding plants, including Senetti

Hardy Perennials such as Perennial Wallflower (Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ AGM), Hellebores, Euphorbia, Bergenia and Bruunera ‘Jack Frost’ AGM

Green perennials to plant now such as Paeonia, Lupin, Delphinium, Hollyhock (Alcea), Digitalis.

Spring flowering shrubs:

Erica x darleyensis eg ‘Ghost Hills’ AGM

Clematis armandii ‘Apple Blossom’ AGM

Oregon Grape – Mahonia aquifolium ‘Apollo’ AGM

Pieris japonica eg ‘Passion’, ‘Flaming Silver’ AGM

Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’ AGM

Camellia, Azaleas, Rhododendrons, etc,

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February 2019

FEBRUARY 2019

CREATE YOUR PERFECT GARDEN

Gardens mean different things to different people, and while some want a secluded space to unwind in and relax others want a place to entertain, chill out with family and friends, or simply enjoy pottering around their plot. Spending time outside helps to lower stress and anxiety, improves your mood, and is beneficial to mental health and wellbeing.
To start creating your perfect garden it’s best to write down what you want from it. Should it be inviting and welcoming, vibrant and fun, private and protected, or perhaps a spiritual space to meditate?
Set out the style, features to include, colours you love, and plants that appeal. Use books, magazines, and websites like Pinterest for inspiration, and then sketch out your ideas. Different plants lend themselves to different garden styles, whether clipped, clean and formal, or big, bold, bright and tropical, so visit local nurseries and garden centres to talk through ideas with their expert staff.
Perhaps you’re drawn to a traditional cottage garden, paths lined with lavender, borders packed with seasonal colour, or a seated arbour clad with a fragrant mix of roses, honeysuckle and clematis. With calming soft shades and scent filling the air, these are restful gardens to sit in and ponder – an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
If a lawn isn’t practical in small or shaded areas, develop a relaxing patio garden using paving, decking or aggregates. Leave planting pockets around the edges for evergreen climbers and shrubs to cover walls and fences, using large tubs and baskets to add drama and seasonal colour. And include furniture to tempt you outside, whether a simple bench to perch, table and chairs to dine alfresco, or something soft and comfortable to sink into, de-stress and meditate.
Boost your ‘five a day’ by growing tasty organic fruits, veg and salads fresh from the garden, perhaps designing an ornamental and productive potager, or mixing crops into borders with flowers. In small spaces grow crops and culinary herbs in pots within easy reach of the kitchen or barbecue.
Your garden could be a peaceful sanctuary or welcoming social space, boosting the health and wellbeing or all those who use it. And by styling different areas with plants to suit your mood you’ll be able to enjoy seasonal colour throughout the year.
Keen gardeners will enjoy the challenge of nurturing plants, relishing the fun of growing more ‘fussy’ or tender plants. This satisfies a creative spirit and proves mentally rewarding. However, there are plenty of ‘tried and tested’ favourites at garden centres now, perfect to produce beautiful displays with instant impact. These plants that are hardy, reliable, easy to maintain, and great value for money!

DID YOU KNOW?

Flowers can make you feel calm and relaxed, reducing stress and improving mental health. Fragrant flowers, like lavender, have been shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure, too, aiding restful sleep. While the style of garden and colours used can affect mood and emotions, just looking out onto plants has healing properties, and can boost performance, productivity and creativity.

PLANTS OF THE MOMENT: PLANTING STYLES

Gardens can be created in many popular styles, so choose one to suit your mood. Perhaps you want a relaxing patio garden packed with colour where the family can play, or somewhere more modern, vibrant and stylish to sit out and entertain. Flowery and fragrant cottage gardens can include traditional favourites like roses, lilies and sweet peas, while a natural wildlife garden will create habitats with plants that will attract birds, bees, beneficial insects and other welcome friends.

If space allows try developing different themed areas divided by paths, clipped hedges, planted trellis screens or archways. Be creative and play with colour themes or celebrate a season, having fun and expressing your own personality.

PLANT SUGGESTIONS:

*  Cottage garden favourites.

*  Reliable and easy to maintain shrubs and perennials.

*  Bold, leafy and evergreen shrubs, bamboos, grasses, etc, to create privacy.

*  Any shrubs, hedging, perennials and trees with flowers, fruits and berries of value to wildlife or that can be used to create habitats for nesting and feeding birds and insects, etc.

* Plants to include in this month’s selection could include:

  • Azaleas
  • Conifers, including yew
  • Camellia
  • Daphne
  • Ferns
  • Japanese Maples (Acer varieties)
  • Pieris
  • Rhododendrons
  • Witch Hazel (Hamamellis)

INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT MORE?

UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

Garden Design to Reduce Stress

https://pss.uvm.edu/ppp/pubs/oh82stress.htm

 

PUSH DOCTOR – September 2018

6 mental health benefits of plants:

Does Flower Power boost your mood?

https://www.pushdoctor.co.uk/blog/6-mental-health-benefits-of-plants-does-flower-power-boost-your-mood

 

RHS

Choose your style

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/design/Garden-themes

 

LIVING COLOUR LANDSCAPES

USING COLOUR THERAPY IN GARDEN DESIGN

http://www.livingcolourlandscapes.com.au/using-colour-therapy-in-garden-design/

 

SCIENCE DAILY – July 2018

Living in greener neighbourhoods is associated with slower cognitive decline

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180711182741.htm

 

BETTER HOMES & GARDENS

Elements of Good Garden Design

https://www.bhg.com/gardening/design/styles/line-garden-design/

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January 2019

JANUARY 2019

GROW  YOURSELF  HEALTHY

Research from around the world has confirmed something many gardeners already know ­– gardening really is good for you!

Both gardens and gardening bring benefits to our physical and mental health, from providing exercise and keeping us active and fit, to getting us outside and connecting with plants, soil, and the natural world around us.

Gardens are great places to relax, and just being in or looking out onto gardens and green spaces have been shown to relieve stress, improving wellbeing and creativity. By creating a beautiful garden outside your own back door you’ll have a personal sanctuary to step out into, and somewhere to grow healthy food, welcome in wildlife, and spend time with family and friends.

Gardening is a creative, rewarding and productive pastime, with opportunities to learn new skills, find out about exciting new plants, share ideas and make new friends. All these have a positive and restorative effect on mental and physical health, keeping mind and body active, whatever your age.

In fact, gardening could be described as the Natural Health Service, as doctors recognise the numerous benefits gardening brings without the need for costly therapies and drugs, with their unwelcome side effects.

For instance, eating well can start by growing your own organic home-grown crops – all part of the ‘5 a day’ we all need to provide nutrients, health-boosting vitamins and minerals, and essential phytochemicals that help protect our bodies against disease. Herbs not only add wonderful flavours to our home cooking and teas, but bring many health benefits too.

Crops can be grown in even the smallest of spaces, providing the reward of picking fresh produce you’ve raised yourself. Combine these with colourful plants and fragrant flowers and any outdoor space will be transformed, giving you somewhere relaxing to sit or a vibrant space to socialise and entertain with family and friends.

Month-by-month the HTA’s ‘Gardening is Good for You!’ campaign will explore many of the benefits of gardens and gardening to our health and wellbeing. They’ll also feature topical gardening activities and ‘Plants of the Moment’ to help create rewarding gardens for work, rest and play.

DID YOU KNOW?

By choosing the right plants we can design gardens that encourage birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife to drop in for food, water and shelter, or even take up residence. Developing an all-year-round wildlife-friendly garden satisfies our own creativity and feeling of achievement, bringing us outside and closer to nature to reduce stress and improve our wellbeing. Contact with plants and the soil also enhances our health and boosts the immune system, too.

PLANTS OF THE MOMENT: YEAR-ROUND COLOUR & INTEREST

By creating a garden that looks great all-year-round you’ll not only have a beautiful outlook but more opportunities to be tempted outside throughout the year to stay active and grow yourself healthy.

To give your garden structure and form choose plants that offer more than one season of interest. In particular, pick evergreen plants and architectural shrubs with green, coloured or variegated foliage that also produce seasonal flowers, and perhaps fruits or berries too.

Plant these to form the backbone to your garden, giving it structure, and adding height at the back of borders. Use their bold shapes and sizes to obscure eyesores and cover boring fences, cut down noise from roads and neighbours, and create a sense of privacy and seclusion.

PLANT SUGGESTIONS:

Any plants that provide year-round colour and interest eg

Choisya eg ‘Sundance’ AGM, ‘Aztec Pearl’ AGM

Hebe ‘Red Edge’ AGM

Skimmia x confusa ‘Kew Green’ AGM

Skimmia japonica ‘Fragrans’ AGM

Photinia eg ‘Red Robin’ AGM

Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo’ AGM

Japanese spotted laurel – Aucuba japonica ‘Crotonifolia’ AGM

Osmanthus x burkwoodii AGM

Elaeagnus x submacrophylla ‘Limelight’

Euonymus, Pieris, etc, etc.

INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT MORE?

THE ORNAMENTAL ROUNDTABLE HEALTH AND HORTICULTURE CONFERENCE 2016

https://www.rhs.org.uk/science/Ornamental-Horticulture-Roundtable/health-and-horticulture-conference-2016

GARDEN ORGANIC & SUSTAIN

The benefits of gardening and food growing for health and wellbeing

https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/sites/www.gardenorganic.org.uk/files/GrowingHealth_BenefitsReport_0.pdf

THE KING’S FUND

Gardens and health: Implications for policy and practice

https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/gardens-and-health

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