How to use jewel-rich colours in your garden this summer

Homes & Gardens shows you how to add a sprinkling of jewel-rich colour to your garden this summer

Sumptuous shades of peacock green, lustrous blue, purple, dark red and egg-yolk yellow add rich, deep tones that complement the foliage plants and pale-hued blooms. Like sparkling jewels, these colours draw the eye and are best used as focal points. Try planting the brightly coloured flowers against dark foliage plants, and pick up on the theme with pots, artworks, surfaces and fabrics in opulent shades.

Try painting oversized letters and place them where they can be seen and will draw you on, to read what they say. The sapphire blue lettering seen above is a garden artwork by the artist Janet Boulton which reads InfiniteIfinityNonFinito, and is made to resemble an horizon.

Insert a cluster of carmine, ruby and burgundy reds into dark corners as the artist Janet Boulton has done here, using cosmos and dahlias, perlagoniums and echinaceas. They will flower from spring all the way through to late autumn, giving your garden a jewel-rich touch for days on end. The artist’s similarly coloured artworks, including a glass pane etched with the words “Flower Show” and labels with the Latin “amoris poma” (love apples), are placed so they blend and merge with the surroundings, but draw the eye as you move closer.

Whatever the size of your garden, pots and planters are another quick, simple way of adding a dash of jewel-rich colour to your outside space. The Grape-coloured T-Wall planter, above, is from The Chelsea Gardener; the deep blue Juno pot behind it from Homebase; the Orange curved pot above is from The Chelsea Gardener, and the orange Tall Tower planter from Bright Green.

Jewel-coloured flowers such as bluebells and narcissii, passiflora and the papaver (above) abound, providing opportunity to colour your garden for much of the year but take care not to overindulge; limit your palette to three or four complementary shades.

Bluebells are a glorious way to carpet a shaded corner of the garden in late spring. The stuff of myth and legend, our native bluebell, Hyacinthoides non-scripta, growing en masse, never fails to entrance. With a distinctive sweet scent, they are easily distinguished from the Spanish bluebell, Hyacinthoides hispanica, the flowers of which are paler blue and grow all around the plant’s more fleshy, upright stems.

The distinctive flowers of the passiflora, or passionflower, are weird and wonderful, other-worldly looks that appealed greatly to the Victorians who first made collecting this sub-tropical flower species fashionable in Britain. The Passiflora ‘Anastasia’ (top left) is ideal for container planting.

Colour is an essential ingredient if you want to ensure your garden is wildlife-friendly and as bio-diverse as possible: birds and insects rely on jewel-rich and bright colours to show them where their sources of food can be found. Herbs are a lovely way to do this.

One of tall-growing stars of the flower and herb border, Echinaceas (top left) bloom from mid-summer to early autumn and grow in a variety of jewel-rich colours, while pineapple sage (top right) is named for its scented foliage and produces long stems with red tubular flowers during the summer. Golden rod (above left) is a prolific producer of nectar and pollen late in the year, while chicory (above right), if allowed to flower, is a fabulous bee magnet.

Colour-co-ordinate your potting shed and indeed your pots and borders with jewel-coloured accessories. The vintage wooden drawers and seed packets seen here (above) are all from Alleyn Park Garden Centre, while the vintage storage tray is from Pimpenel & Partners. The garden twines are all by Nutscene, and the bag is made from Vegetable Tree 315 by Josef Frank at Svengst Tenn.

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Finally, so you can enjoy spending time in your enchanted, bejewelled garden, choose one jewel colour and dress your terrace or arbour with a cluster of fanciful floral fabrics. The lounger above is covered in Moon Blossom by Beacon Hill; the curtains (from left) are Bazaar CA1121/050 by JAB Anstoetz and Ray by Libert Arts Fabric at Liberty.

For more gardening ideas, visit the Homes & Gardens website.

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