garden design garden photography gardening

Green on Green

Garden designers often talk about colour contrasts such as blues and yellows and about how important green is as a foil for other colours. but what about two shades of green working together. Just think of the fronds of vivid green ferns bursting out from the green paddle leaves of the hosta. in her book entitled “The Gardener’s Pallette” the American garden writer Sydney Ellison wrote “In nature, green is the colour of life” and “It is the colour that makes fewest demands on the human eye.”  In most gardening books green is discussed as a foil for other colours and rarely considered as important in its own right.

I searched through photos I have taken this year that featured green for its own sake not merely acting as a foil. Here follows a selection. They prove how powerful greens are!

The grass, Hakanechloa macra , moves slowly like waves in the slightest breeze and here in Neil Lucas’ garden, look great as a sea of green for a specimen tree to burst out of. The plain green Hakanechloa often looks better than its variegated cousin but is rarely seen for sale. It deserves more recognition.

Neil’s use of the simple green sheet of grass under a tree displays brilliant design skills. This photo is the absolute opposite – an accidental paring of two contrasting greens – where a pure bright green apple has dropped onto a neatly clipped box hedge in a potager.

The first photo illustrated how a gardener used green so effectively, the second how an accident can produce beauty in greens and the above one shows how Mother Nature does it. Rather well methinks!

The above photo must illustrate the ultimate “green on green” border, gentle on the eye and so satisfying. Looking at green as a key colour in the garden now on the first day of winter makes you feel better. Just think of all the green we can look forward to!


By greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.