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September Gardening article

Even though the colours of masonry materials are generally  permanent wood colours are not. Cedar for example may be highly coloured when new but will weather to softer, quite different hues after a year or so, changing your colour scheme  as it weathers. Keep in mind that paints and stains are available for all structural materials including  masonry.
Though your choice of design/colour is very much of personal taste, structural elements such as bricks, tiles, wood, stone etc. generally blend in better if they are of earthy colours. However as I’ve said, this is all about personal preferences at the end of the day.


Aside from permanent structures plant colours are also extremely important. You can create your desired atmosphere by planting colours appropriate to your mood. For example in order to create warmth plant beds and borders mainly in shades of reds and purple. Pink flowers schemes also create a warm atmosphere while  yellow flowers or foliage bring a cheerful and welcoming look to the garden.


White is a versatile colour to use in the border as it goes with  everything and can be use to divide up plants that flower at the same time.


Green/evergreen foliage in a garden is important to show off the various flower colours though all foliage is not simply ‘green’. The range of foliage shades is actually quite large. Most coloured foliage plants require plenty of sun in order to thrive.


Colourful stems should also be used in the garden. Examples of  coloured stems are Betula (Birch), AcersCornus  (Dogwoods) and Eucalyptus.


Try incorporating berried shrubs in the shrub border to add colour during autumn and winter. Berrying and fruiting trees often make beautiful lawn specimens. Examples of shrubs  with berries are Cotoneastertypes, Ilex (Holly) types, Skimmia, Pyracantha etc.


In a small garden plant a light coloured hedge as it makes the  garden look larger. A pale coloured tree such as a Willow or alternatively pale coloured urns can form focal points at the end of a lawn requiring distance.


Also carefully consider trellises and fencesFree standing  trellising looks well and can be painted with coloured  horticultural wood preservative. Sizes and shapes of trellises are as varied as the colours available so spend time deciding on what suits your situation.


Paving slabs can look well in coloured tones or in a natural stone colour. The colour you select will obviously depend as previously outlined, on your personal tastes.


Gravel and pebbles are available in huge variety. In my own opinion natural looking gravel/pebbles looks nicer than coloured gravel. If pebbles are not to your taste, cobbles contrast well with paving both in texture and colour.


Use local stone where possible. ie. use granite in a granite area and limestone in a limestone area. I prefer to use stone for buildings, rock gardens, walls and so on rather than the new fashion of using railway sleepers but at the risk of sounding too repetitive personal taste comes in to play here again.


Statues are often used as focal points in a garden to attract the eye to a particular part of the site . Avoid ‘piddling Pete’s though!


The subject of colour in the garden really is a large one but hopefully I have given you some ideas this month and no doubt we will deal with this subject again.


Happy Gardening!




Garden Checklist.


·      Remove fallen leaves from pathways and lawn areas and re-use in the shrubberies and. Leave fallen leaves around base of trees.

·      If virginian creepers and ivy plants have become overgrown, trim back now by approx 3ft away from gutters.

·      Check that tree ties and stakes are secure.

·      Divide perennial plants.

·      Prune early summer flowering heathers.


Anne McKeon of Gum Dearg Teoranta,

Buaile Beag, Bearna, Galway operates a Garden Design & Advisory Service. Anne presents a gardening spot on Galway Bay FM radio every second Thursday morning at 10.50am approx. and writes gardening articles for various publications. To date Anne has also written two gardening books, one for adult beginner gardeners (Don’t Forget Your Shovel) and one for children (Green Acres – Hobby Gardening For Children).


Phone: – (091) 521186 (office)

             087 1441623 (mobile)

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