This article in the Sunday Times about color fashions in gardens makes me feel hopelessly out of step. Like fashion magazines that blithely inform you that short hair is in one year and long hair the next, I just don’t know what to do with the news that a particular color has gone out of style. I can’t manage to keep all the weeds pulled in my garden; I’m certainly not going to go yank out all the pink or purple just because it’s fallen out of favor with designers. Some years, the Shasta daisies do particularly well and the feverfew explodes, and I have a white garden. Other years, the love-in-a-mist self-sow fiendishly among the hardy geranium, and it’s blue and purple whether I like it or not.
But there is one place where colors can go in and out of fashion: show gardens. So here’s what designer Rachel de Thame has to say about this year’s color trends:
"It remains to be seen whether I am the only designer at this year’s show to
pick up on pink. It’s certainly due for a come-back. In recent years, garden
after garden has featured blue, purple and inky, near-black flowers, often
contrasted with tangerine or acid green. Subtle all-white plots have become
popular. Occasionally, near-pinks have crept in: purples have been combined
with deep pinky reds, and there have been frequent inclusions in mixed
pastel-themed planting schemes, but a garden in which it dominates has been
I’m not a lover of pink myself, but this time of year, I think about these pink Amaryllis belladonnas (and their matching bubble gum scent) with longing. You’ll never catch me wearing a pink shirt or buying a pink pillowcase, but any flower that needs no water or fertilizer and looks like this in August is welcome in my garden. I gotta admit, though–if it came in tangerine, I’d swap for it.
Is there a foliage or flower color you REALLY hate in the garden? Speak your piece.