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Crocus at the Chelsea Flower Show 2023

Learning how to use colour from The Nurture Landscapes Garden

Helen Derrin

Written by: Crocus Plant Doctor, Helen

Last updated: 11th May 2023

With a Fine Art degree under her belt, there's no denying that Sarah has a great eye for mixing colour. For The Nurture Landscapes Garden, Sarah has drawn inspiration from both the plants Cedric Morris bred and his paintings. The result is a rich and complex fusion that includes dusky pinks, deep violets, silvery blues and burgundy, with warming bronze, burnt umber and rich golden tones.

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Keen to extend colour right to the very boundaries of the garden, Sarah has taken giant-sized, repurposed canvases and applied a plant-based paint in soft, muted shades of blue, yellow and pink. When teamed with the straw-cob bales, these will become integral to the planting, counterbalancing the intricate colour of the iris, while reflecting tonal variation, providing depth and of course, adding even more colour.

CHOOSING A COLOUR PALETTE FOR YOUR GARDEN

Lessons we can take from home from Sarah's design approach

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Work with what you can't change

You may be able to paint fences or furniture, but paving, house bricks and other existing features should be factored in.

Start with foliage

Green, grey and silver foliage is easy to mix with most shades - and the evergreens will also give year-round interest.

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Keep it simple

If you're not confident with colours, keep your palette to a minimum. It's the best way to create a sense of calm and cohesion.

Add tonal variation

Choose your colour scheme, then add depth and body by building it up in layers, using light and dark tones of the same shade.

DISCOVER OUR PAST CHELSEA GARDENS

The colours that a designer chooses for their Chelsea garden is so important, because not only will they have an impact on how their garden will look, but they'll also have an impact on how it makes us feel. These designers are masters of their craft, so we can really learn a lot if we look closely at some of their choices - and see how they've chosen to combine them.

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