With the expeditions of the great plant hunters of the Victorian age, gardens in the Western world were filled with a multitude of new and exciting plants. It is no wonder that the popularity of the herbaceous border came to the fore. In this traditional-style border, we can see how the planting scheme cleverly weaves plants of differing colors and heights, but there is no defined color scheme.
Muted colors. Gray and glaucous foliage planted en masse need not be boring. In the last decade, alliums, especially the large globe varieties, have become very popular as accent plants. Here they stand over a mixed planting of 'Cotton Lavender', Santolina chamaecyparissus, and French lavender, Lavandula stoechas. Their purple flowers resonate with the butterfly-shape lavender flowers and bring life to the border.
Hot pinks. We can see tones of pink used as the main theme within this border, with touches of purple that increase the vigor of the color. The clever use of cooling blues and whites prevents the hot pink from overpowering the border.
Washed denim. Blue is a cooling color — think of the sky and the sea and how they affect us. It can be difficult to use on its own, as it can bleach in strong sun and appear to recede in the garden against other colors. Here, the many shades of the hydrangeas blend, creating an amazing spring display.
Refreshing greens. Green is the backdrop of all gardens, yet with a careful choice of plants it can make a wonderful color-theme planting. The foliage in this border is both soothing and refreshing and makes me think of the traditional temple gardens of Japan.