Design & Decor - Design Ideas

Hort celebs show their true colours

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

Christine Perreault, Montreal, Que.
Horticultural consultant, Montreal Botanical Garden

Yellow. It's a very vibrant colour. When I look at a garden, it's the yellow flowers I see first. It makes the garden very welcoming. Heliopsis helianthoides [false sunflower] blooms all summer long to late September and makes a great cut flower.

Alexander Reford, Grand-Métis, Que.
Director, Reford Gardens

Blue. It's a relatively rare colour in the plant kingdom. We have a proliferation of blue poppies and gentians-the blue is particularly striking because of the harmonious balance with the dark green of the coniferous trees.

Hugh Skinner, Roblin, Man.
Owner, Skinner's Nursery; plant propagator; co-author, Best Trees and Shrubs for the Prairies

Green. There's such a variety [of shades]-it's the restful colour in the background that brings out the other vibrant colours. Like the foliage of ‘Dropmore' linden-developed by my dad [Frank Skinner, see story on page 98]-with quite a dark green leaf.

John Valleau, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
Corporate horticulturist, Heritage Perennials

Dark purple foliage. It has way more staying power than fleeting flowers. Hibiscus acetosella ‘Coppertone' [syn. ‘Red Shield'] is exotic and tropical, holds its colour in the heat and just looks bushy and great.

Kristl Walek, Gower, Ont.
Owner, Gardens North Specialty/Rare Seed House

Green, because I relate to plants by texture. Native woodland plants move me-large merrybells [Uvularia grandiflora] have elegantly formed, mid-green leaves; they look great in the shade garden all season.

Sara Williams, Grasswood, Sask.
Horticultural specialist, University of Saskatchewan (retired); co-author, Best Trees and Shrubs for the Prairies; author, Creating the Prairie Xeriscape

A very intense coral red-it knocks your socks off. A peony called ‘Flame' best exhibits this colour. The flowers cup and almost close at night, the foliage is handsome and the stems are strong.

Marjorie Willison, Spryfield, N.S.
Gardening expert on CBC's radio program Maritime News; staunch advocate of urban agriculture and food security

Blue-because of its rarity, like the deep blue of Siberian squill (Scilla siberica). Blue has the biggest impact with just a tiny touch of peach or yellow. It also blends beautifully with shades of mauve and pink.

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