Summer Plant Combinations
Ideas for Summer Plant Combinations from the RHS Show Tatton Park, 2011.
RHS Show Tatton Park 2011 is full of summer colour and inspiring plant combinations. From sun-loving gravel areas to shady woodlands retreats, there are great ideas for every corner of the garden. Here are some eye-catching combinations recommended by horticultural researcher Clare Savage.
Bed of Many Colours
By grouping colours together designers Gary Hiller and Ken Walton have created a cut flower border worthy of any permanent display. The cutting patch includes Dahlias, Phlox, Lupins, Echinacea, Heleniums, Coreopsis and Sidalcea. The colours move though hot pinks to reds then to calm yellow and white and back to warmer colours.
The Dark Side
The gothic flower bed designed by Chris Evans and David Ifould for Bournemouth Borough Council uses contrasting colours to great effect. Dark foliage is paired with brightly coloured flowers make each stand out against the other. The dark leaves of Ricinus communis 'New Zealand Black' and Canna 'Australia' act as the perfect backdrop for the neon flowers of Dahlia 'Ruskin Marigold'.
Graceful Grasses - One
Two planting ideas come from Sue Beesley and her Gold medal winning Show Garden , Grasses with Grace. The first, for hot sunny borders, is Deschampsia cespitosa 'Goldschleier' mixed with Achillea millefolium 'Red Velvet' and Hemerocallis 'Corky'.
Graceful Grasses - Two
For dappled shade under deciduous trees try Sue's mix of Molinia caerulea subsp. caerulea 'Edith Dudszus' with the white flowered Thalictrum delavayi 'Album' and the dark foliage of Actaea simplex 'Brunette'.
Cath from Cath’s Garden Plants offers up an idea for using Agastache in a small prairie-like border for Northern climes. The border needs good drainage and a full sun position but the Carex Milk Chocolate ('Milchoc') and Carex comans 'Frosted Curls' should be better able to withstand winter wet and look wonderful with the Agastache 'Raspberry Summer'.
MacGregor’s Mixes - One
Elizabeth MacGregor’s Anemone 'Wild Swan' (winner of the Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year award for 2011) backed by the slightly higher Thalictrum diffusiflorum which has much larger flowers than some other thalictrums.
MacGregor's Mixes - Two
For a full sun position free from winter wet Elizabeth MacGregor combines Echinacea purpurea 'Rubinstern' with Sanguisorba officinalis 'Morning Select'.
John Everiss's Gold medal winning garden, Inside Out is an outdoor entertaining space where bay trees are used not just for their culinary leaves but also for height and structure. Used with other evergreens like box and rosemary the garden has plenty of structure which will extend into the winter.
Nepeta 'Six Hills Giant' and peachy Achillea 'Terracotta' drift through the evergreens. Mint, chives and purple sage add attractive edible highlights. Whilst accents of Lavandula × intermedia 'Grosso' adds scent and brings the pollinating insects from far and wide. White flower buds of Sedum spectabile 'Brilliant' catch the eye at the front of the bed and will turn a violet/pink in late summer.