I’ve been reading Arthur Parkinson’s book “The Flower Yard: Growing Flamboyant Flowers in Containers”. I was intrigued by his use of a collage to plan out his seasonal colour schemes. Arthur calls them ‘mood boards’. The idea is you work out your garden colours using images cut out from magazines and garden catalogues.
Since I’m a digital planner, I turned to the web to make my mood board.
I had already picked out most of my annual seeds for 2024 yet this turned out to be a very useful process. It turns out pink is hard! There is purple pink, red pink, rose pink, light pink, coral and so many more shades. I originally chose varieties individually but creating a mood board had me abandoning a few choices that were too coral or too orange.
If you look at my collage I organized the flowers into a kind of colour wheel by not only colour but tone. For no other reason than it seemed to make sense, I started with a foliage plant in the middle, Alternanthera. From there I grouped together the blues opposite the purples. I then separated the magenta pinks from the rose pinks. Then I added the wines and reds spiral and finally my grounding or accent colours – yellow, lime green and silver.
This isn’t about designing each individual planter. It’s more about making sure my whole garden has a unified, pleasing colour palette. As I’m planting up pots, I’ll choose a mix of complimentary colours and heights with some pleasing contrasts from this collection.
Did I have to do this? Maybe not, but it did cause me to change out a few seeds. And besides, as a January garden planning activity it was fun. I might even put one together of all my perennials next year.