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Colour in Your GardenBOOK REVIEWS

Colour in Your Garden

Penelope Hobhouse
Frances Lincoln, distributed by Bookwise

THE common denominator of all our gardens is, of course, colour. While many successful gardeners seem to know intuitively "what goes with what", for others planting is a hit-and-miss affair based on fancy rather than forethought. But no matter which school you belong to, this large-format book is a lavish eye-opener, showing how to design a garden using plant colour as the fundamental element. For the technically minded there's an intriguing chapter on the nature of colour. This probes the relationships of light to colour, colour to space, and the way various colours can "enhance or injure" one another.

While Colour in Your Garden is crammed with ideas, there's also lots of practical snippets. "Don't plant a colour scheme which depends on golden foliage in full sun; most plants of this type of leaf covering need shade." and "don't feed variegated plants with rich food; their leaves will form new chlorophyll and become green" are typical hints.

More than 1000 plants are catalogued under colours. Blooms - whites, clear yellow, blue, pinks and mauve, strong red and so on - are described season by season. The plants' habit, relationship with plants of different colour and growing conditions are also considered. Colour in Your Garden offers the serious gardener a new perspective and gives the novice a kaleidoscope of ideas to kick off with.

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

Weekend Gardener

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Last updated: March 1, 2021