How Green Is Your Garden?

I’m talking about the colour green, not whether it is organic (mine is)

I got into a conversation with a friend who has a friend (stick with me here) who designed and planted their small town garden only using green as a palette – no other colours. She said it really worked, and that I should go and take a look sometime.

But it got me thinking, we’re in the process of re-doing the garden, I won’t grandly state “re-designing”, but we are planning an overhaul and titivation. So could I create a Green Garden, and what would be considered non-green?

  • Coloured flowers would be out – like the reds of Dahlias, oranges and yellows of Cannas, Clematis, Passion Flowers, red and white Tulips, the mauve of Alliums, Blues of Agapanthus, Pinks of Verbena, the Hellebores in Spring, delicate hues of lavender. You name it!
  • And I’m guessing here, but I’m thinking that coloured leaves would be out of the question. So out go Ajugas, Phorniums, Heuchera, black grasses like Nigrescens

It would be a real challenge to me. But my friend was so enthusiastic about the idea, she said with it only using one colour it was a very restful, calming and beautiful garden. To me it sounds like a place of beauty and tranquility. Tempting.

So how to interpret an idea like that? How far could you stretch the colour green to include grey-green, white-green, yellow-green. I’m guessing variegated leaves would be out of bounds.

And I wonder if instead of coloured flowers and leaves, you could use coloured materials like pots, or paint a wall, or have painted fencing. Or would that be cheating?

Canna

What would you do with plants, that are green, like a Fatsia that produce a white flower, run out into the garden with your secateurs at the ready?

It’s not as if the garden doesn’t already have lots of greenery, there are plenty of plants that are predominantly green, the Euphorbias spring to mind, it’s just that there are some flowers in there too.

Looking around my garden, even at this time of year, when lots of the colours have faded, I’m left wondering if it is possible. Looking at the photos here, I doubt it.

I think these photos show how tricky it would be to pull off an entirely green garden, as difficult as say the classic White Garden at Sissinghurst Castle designed by Vita Sackville-West. I know that my humble garden would never match that magnificence, but some of these great gardens can provide fantastic inspiration.

What about you, could you go entirely green?

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19 comments

  • Hmm, I love having everything match as it were but I am not sure I would have an entirely green coloured garden – I would miss my blood red roses, and brilliant white arums and beautiful lavender to name just a few – yip, on thinking about it a little more, I like colour in my garden a little to much to do without it.
    Have a super day.
    🙂 Mandy

  • Not me, I love all the colours, I would never have the patience to stick with one colour, Before the summer was out I would have changed my mind about the colour and planted something else. I love a garden that’s a little wild and chaotic.

  • Totally doable, in a small, shady spot – think recreating the coolness of a forest glade. Ferns, groundcovers, trees, water…nice. But, an entire, large area? Probably too boring.

  • I’d have to join the chorus here. I think it would be all right in a section but an entirely green garden? Thanks, but no thanks.I love my roses too much, my clematis vines, my wisteria, I guess I’ll just stay here, a comfortable distance from gardening’s cutting edge.

    • Hi John, It looks like we are all singing in the same choir as well as from the same hymn sheet 🙂 And you have reminded me that I want a wisteria in this garden, we used to have one in London, so I need to go shopping in Spring !

  • I have seen photos, and the all green gardens are serene and calm. But I would miss the the riot of blooms in the summer. I always give thanks for the ability to see the full spectrum of colors and never forget I have been blessed with this gift.

  • i get the whole green garden concept. Back where I’m from in Singapore, most everything is green. of course we have beautiful tropical flowers but 80%-90% of a typical tropical landscape is made of varying shades of green, which can look amazing!

  • I know that having gardens all one color is kind of trendy now but I love color. Take a gray or rainy day…I don’t think a green garden could raise your spirits. I’ll take all the cheery, bright colors of my garden any day.

    • Hi Karen, I think what I need is not a garden but gardens plural, that way I could have a green space as well as other garden spaces. But somehow I can’t see us moving from here, so it will just remain as a concept, and I’ll be keeping the flowers to help with those grey days 🙂

  • I agree with Karen. I just couldn’t give up the color or the thrill of watching the garden bloom into a roit of color, changing everyday. It is an interesting concept though.

  • Hmm. I think a smallish spot in the yard might do, say a walk way along the side of the house, or a courtyard perhaps? I imagine it would be very formal somehow. As for the white garden, I think I feel about the same way in regards to it as well, because white gardens are gorgeous only in the moonlight. Nope, gotta have color and the more the merrier! Favorite combination is red, yellow and blue, because it pops from across the yard, and it’s in your face bright. Though I don’t imagine I would like a whole yard full of it. 😉 Oh, and THANKS for visiting me today! ~ L

    • It’s a pleasure to meet you 🙂
      I think you are right, basically I’d need a very large garden so I could have “differnt” rooms and walks. I can imagine a nice shady but damp spot full of ferns and gunnera

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