Hello All. My name is Russell Watkins I'm a gardener here at Harlow Carr, I make up part of the Gardens East team who are responsible for the up-keep of various parts of the floral department which include Gardens through Time, the Rose Revolution borders, the winter walk and much more in between.
This is my first go at writing a blog so please read on and feel free to leave any comments.
A few weeks ago gardens East team planted up our summer container displays situated in Gardens through Time. This is one of my favourite tasks of the gardening year, an opportunity to be really expressive with no boundaries like an artist with a blank canvas. But as with any other planting designs that I do I find it difficult to tear myself away from my favourite romantic, informal choices of floriferous pastel, silvers, whites, pinks and blues. But I made the break this time and planted up some of my containers with bold strong colours quite different to my usual.
The containers that I'm most excited about at present are situated in garden five, the 1950's Festival of Britain inspired garden. The two large concrete iconic 50's containers date back to the period, when they arrived they were painted white, then a shocking pink with a zingy green and pink planting display done by myself two years ago, this year though a change was needed. I decided on a simple but hopefully very striking display. I have painted the containers a very dark sumptuous shade called Damson, and then planted them up with just two different plants. The main one being Perilla which is almost exactly the same shade as the pot, exactly what I wanted! And among this I have planted Bidens ferulifolia which bears vivid sulphur yellow flowers all summer long. I'm hoping that by the end of the summer the pot will be bursting with the giant dark foliage contrasting fantastically with blinding sparks of golden yellow. Hopefully by the end of the season I will have some great pics for you all to see but better still come along and see the containers for yourselves!