Design & Decor - Design Ideas

Hort celebs show their true colours

Discover how experts from across the country feel about colour in the garden

Bernard Jackson, Truro, N.S.
On-site co-ordinator, Nova Scotia Agricultural College rock garden; former director, Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden

Green. My garden is a shade garden, and green is so important with its many shades and lushness. Or the whites, such as fair maids of France [Ranunculus aconitifolius ‘Flore Pleno'] or some of the Saxifraga, such as S. longifolia or S. cotyledon.

Brad Jalbert, Langley, B.C.
Owner, Select Roses; co-author, Roses for British Columbia and Roses for Washington and Oregon

White. It just lightens up the garden. Any kind of white rose—like our 30-foot ‘Bobbie James'. When it blooms, it looks like a huge waterfall on our tree.

Olivia Johns, Calgary, Alta.
Horticulturist, Calgary Zoo

My favourite colour is definitely orange, with its various shades, especially the orange to yellow of a Gazania, or a California poppy. When you look at a mass planting of either one of those, it can be breathtaking.

Ed Lawrence, Almonte, Ont.
Horticultural specialist and gardening expert on CBC Radio One's Ontario Today

There's nothing nicer than the cardinal colours—the bright reds and yellows—of tulips. Sometimes you want a cool effect, and blue jumps out and it's clear. You find this in geraniums like ‘Johnson's Blue' and the Delft blue of hyacinths and delphiniums.

Brian Minter, Chilliwack, B.C.
President, Minter Gardens and Country Garden Limited

For me, it's about taking one colour and blending hues and tints so you get the impact of a colour tone. I go to the parallel blue colours of salvias, delphiniums, lavenders, Scabiosa, asters, phlox, campanulas and Nepeta [catmint]. Stipa [feather grass] and Carex [sedge] look great with these colours, and silvers with blue are pure magic.

Marjorie Mason, Uxbridge, Ont.
Owner, Mason Hogue Gardens

Definitely burgundy. It goes with everything. It cools down hot colours and beefs up pastels. Also, because there is burgundy foliage and flowers, it makes that colour really special. Euphorbia cotinifolia [red spurge] is a tender tropical tree that looks like a smoke bush.

Wilf Nicholls, St. John's, N.L.
Director, Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden

I like everything, but I have to say pink. I like the contrast against soil or foliage. I love the pinkness of a bleeding heart [Dicentra]; also massive, well-grown impatiens and a ground-hugging bunch of phlox.

Bob Osborne, Corn Hill, N.B.
Owner, Corn Hill Nursery

I don't view plants like that. You can create so many different moods with so many different combinations. All colours excite me.

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