Balancing colour & planting combinations

It can sometimes take years to get the right balance in a planting scheme. There are areas in my garden which I am  still striving to ‘get right’ and that’s only natural. However the group of plants in the photograph is one spot that I am really enjoying at the moment. They consist of the white scented shrub rose, Blanc Double de Coubert, Hemorocalis (deep pink flowers coming shortly but still adds value with its lovely thick foliage), the flowers of dusty pink dainty Geum rivale bobs up and down as Helianthemum ‘Wisley pink’ tumbles over the wall with Sedum ‘Autumn joy’ nearby and clumps of Lysmachia ciliata ‘Firecracker’ here and there. The scent from the roses is heavenly and the muted tones of the soft pink flowers contrast nicely with the bluish tinge of the sedums foliage. The duck egg blue obelisk cools it all down and I think they look as if they have all been there together for ages

Another well known and much loved little plant is the primsose, the first rose of spring. Otherwise known as Primulas, these old fashioned favourites come in a wide variety of colours and are fantastic for naturalizing. I came across Primula bulleyana in a garden centre at the weekend and just had to have it. It has deep yellow tubular flowers on candelabras above dark green foliage, the unopened buds are peach giving it a really gorgeous two tone effect. I’ll be so excited when it starts to seed around the place. It has gone into a bed with a mix of ferns and grasses. I planted Lupin ‘Red Rum’ in the same bed and together they provide just enough colour and vibrancy to bring the lot together.

Its show time in the gardening world and Munsters main event Mallow Home and Garden Show kicks off again this year on Friday June 29th until Sunday 1st July at Mallow racecourse. Featuring everything from water features to patio, decking and gardening machinery. Specialist nursery growers will be peddling their wares if you fancy something different or unusual. This show has been getting better and better every year and it is a lovely family day out too. Admission for kids is free and adult admission of €10 includes free parking. Whether you need inspiration or simple escapism a trip to Mallow show will do you good so put it in the diary!



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I am passionate about gardening and creating outdoor spaces that are gorgeous, adventurous, productive and fun. I have been advising and designing gardens for many years starting with friends and family as well as developing my own garden design in Cork near Crosshaven. I have been doing this whilst bearing and rearing our four children, who also garden with me and share my interest and passion, especially in the vegetable and fruit garden. I am the Gardening columnist for the Cork Independent free newspaper. I take all my own photographs for my articles on gardening and will also customise cards for clients using photographs taken in their home and garden.

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