What's hot and what's not!

Colour Trends for 2018

Over the past couple of years we have noticed that designers have focused on using very bright or distinctive colours in their gardens, especially deep purple and orange. Will hot colours maintain their dominance in 2018 or will trends lean towards a more subtle approach with flashes of colour? Well... we are predicting a change in approach this year with a transition to softer shades. We believe that the much maligned yellow will make a comeback this year. Read below to see which yellow beauties have made our Top 6.

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Pallida'


Hamamelis x intermedia 'Pallida' (Witch Hazel) is a must for winter interest! It has fantastic architectural appeal with a natural vase shape. It reaches 4m, making it a real statement shrub! Yellow is the most popular colour but there are many others to choose from (see some fantastic pictures on our website). The most striking feature of 'Pallida' is the bright yellow sweetly scented blooms that appear from January. They are unusual - 4 narrow strap-like petals with burgundy calyces that resemble spiders. It also has amazing autumnal colour-the oval leaves turn yellow, bright orange and red in October and can add a fiery quality to any garden.

Hamamelis is an excellent choice for providing both autumn and winter interest, making Witch Hazel a must-have plant that will work miracles in your garden.

Narcissus 'Dutch Master'


Yellow in our landscapes is most commonly seen in early spring, fighting off the winter malaise and reminding us of the sunshine and warmth to come. The true hero of this period is the much revered daffodil, brightening our days and reminding us of what is to come.

One of the most recommended early-spring flowering daffodils is Narcissus 'Dutch Master'. It's a classic variety, one of the largest and finest with bright yellow flowers in March/April. After a harsh and cold winter the sudden injection of yellow into a bare landscape is a beautiful signifier of the changing seasons! 

'Dutch Master' is an award winning and reliable variety that comes back strongly year after year. It has beautiful, large, trumpet shaped golden yellow scented flowers and can measure up to 10cm across.

It is definitely our favourite first yellow sign of spring.

Potentilla fruticosa 'Elizabeth'


Potentilla fruticosa 'Elizabeth' is a lovely deciduous shrub with a long flowering period. It starts to bloom in May and continues until early autumn. It's an easy, low-maintenance and hardy plant. June and July are its peak flowering months so you can enjoy masses of blossoms, especially if planted in a full sun. It's not fussy, does not require very fertile soil and is relatively drought tolerant.

The best time to prune is September after flowering has finished. We recommend cutting the plant back quite hard to encourage good flowering the following year.

'Elizabeth' is a particularly good variety. It's a lovely compact shrub, growing up to 90cm height. It will grow well in a mixed border and makes a superb low, informal hedge.  It's a perfect plant for cottage gardens and coastal planting. If you are looking for a low-maintenance, attractive shrub then Potentilla is for you.

Santolina chamaecyparissus 


Santolina chamaecyparissus is a lovely dwarf evergreen shrub also known as Cotton Lavender. Charming button-like yellow flowers sit on top of silver foliage. The plant is aromatic, with both its leaves and flowers having a strong, unmistakable scent. Santolina looks striking in June when it's in full flower. To maintain that attractive look it has to be cut back every year in early spring or it may become too woody and get out of control. It grows up to 50cm in height. Santolina prefers a sunny position and a well-drained, sandy soil. 

It's a perfect plant for Mediterranean style gardens, will form a compact, mound shape ideal for borders or rock gardens and will look fantastic when planted together with other Mediterranean plants such as Lavender.

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldstrum'


Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldstrum' is one of the best late-flowering perennials. Striking golden-yellow, daisy-like single flowers with cone-shaped, dark brown centres appear in August to October and provide a much needed hit of colour when gardens are beginning to tire. It is a fantastic variety for any border because it doesn't grow too tall, reaching about 70cm in height and has a strong upright habit, which means no staking. Rudbeckia is not invasive but spreads very gently from year to year forming a yellow carpet of flowers.

Rudbeckia will look good in a prairie-style garden (planted among ornamental grasses), can add late summer colour to the border and is a great plant for attracting bees and butterflies.

Ginkgo biloba


Ginkgo biloba is by far one of the finest examples of autumnal colour. The unusual fan-shaped leaves of this native Chinese deciduous tree are green and in autumn they turn bright canary yellow and can resemble pure gold in the late afternoon sun.

Ginkgo is known as the 'living fossil tree' because it is closely related to plants that existed in the age of the dinosaur (200 million years ago). It reaches 30m and has a nice narrow habit.

 Today, it is the only representative of its genus and family. It is a gymnosperm, as are conifers and cycads. Ginkgo is the perfect tree for urban planting (it is used as a street tree in New York, among others), tolerates pollution, poor soil conditions and has a great resistance to pests and diseases. Most trees sold are male because the seeds on the female trees smell absolutely awful.

January 2018