Green-Only Gardens Bring Soothe and the Eye the Spirit

Green-Only Gardens Bring Soothe and the Eye the Spirit

We often try to place colours in our planting layouts, in the usage of both foliage and flower. But are colours essential? If we skillfully choose and combine plants, a blue-green hue can give us just as much interest as flowers with different colours.

And could green additionally provide exactly the exact same unbiased advantages as grey, yet another popular colour for both landscape and home? From the garden many men and women tend to utilize grey because its neutrality makes for the perfect backdrop for a wide assortment of flowers, perhaps most famously exemplified in the grey gardens at Sissinghurst in Kent, England. But how often have you seen a garden dedicated to green? The colour green is a great neutral, since it’s neither a warm or a cool colour, having equivalent parts of yellowish, which is hot blue, which is cool. This balance makes it a restful and calming color — for producing those outdoor spaces that are stress-busting perfect.

Let us look at some techniques of planting design that will help you concentrate on green.

Art in Green

1. Utilize many different foliage. Vary not only the tone of green but additionally the foliage finish — from dull matte to profound shine. The boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) shown here, using its dull, trimmed foliage, contrasts the dark green polished leaves of this bay (Lauris nobilis), to get a very simple planting mixture.

Notice that the wonderful shading on the face of the boxwood balls; they change colour as the light changes.

Land Architects, Inc..

Using just two plant species against a closely mown lawn shows how clever use of both texture and tone can provide just as much interest as a flowering boundary.

Clipped boxwood was used here, allowing the new lime-green growth to contrast the glistening foliage of this Japanese spurge (Pachysandra terminalis).

Tim Davies Landscaping

2. Mix foliage feel. Notice here the way the designer contrasted the feel of the different foliage — the matte spikiness of this agave from the shiny gloss of this Laurustinus (Viburnum tinus).

A monochromatic green planting fits contemporary gardens flawlessly. The neutral nature of the colour doesn’t detract from the design or even the hard landscaping material.

More tips on blending foliage feel


3. Vary shapes and sizes. It’s always important to change the shapes and sizes of plants in garden design, but it’s vital in an green-only garden. This small, modern London town garden is a great illustration of how to unite different plants to make an interesting and pleasing scheme.

The green bamboo stalks and foliage give height yet allow a view through to the upper limits of this garden, while the bulk of low-clipped boxwood and clumps of Skimmia perfectly balance the plantings with the formal hard landscaping.

Ferns at selected points lighten the whole design, bringing differences in shade of green, leaf texture and height of growth.

A Pleno Sol

Even in a little area of monochromatic planting, like the one encompassing this trough water feature, plant leaves and height form are important.

Here the tall, dark green spikes of horsetail (Equisetum spp) perfectly contrast the reduced, scrabbling growth of this fluorescent lime-green Ipomoea.

4. Complete the picture with green flowers. You will find green flowers, for all those who’d have withdrawal symptoms in a garden without flowers, but they’re few and far between. The advantage of using just green foliage in a planting is that, like grey, it’s an excellent unbiased backdrop on which to overlay other colours. You will find, though, a number of flowers with a tinge of green because their flowers mature to some other colour, mainly to white, which works particularly well against green foliage.

Winter- and spring-flowering Hellebores not just have deeply cut, dark green leaves that fit nicely into a green planting palette, but a few varieties show green coloring within their aging flowers. Helleborus niger, the Christmas Rose, has white flowers that start off since the palest of lime greens prior to committing to a clean white. The number ‘Christmas Carol’ is one of the very best for producing this green inflorescence.

The Hellebore using all the most convincing green flowers is H. foetidus, the Stinking Hellebore, which has tall spires of lime-green flowers held above spiky, deep green foliage.

Paintbox Garden

Lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis) is a perfect herbaceous perennial to utilize in a green garden. It generates clumps of hairy, light green leaves that charmingly, as shown, hold drops of water after rain. Its flowers are an acid and fit beautifully with any green motif. (Beware: It seeds)

Hursthouse Landscape Architects and Contractors

A few hydrangeas possess green-tinged immature flowers that will hold their green colour, like this Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’. Once mature, the panicles of flowers turn white. Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ is just another variety that also produces similar blossoms; lime-green flower heads turn creamy white on aging.

The underplanted floor cover here’s Japanese spurge (Pachysandra terminalis), a helpful ground-cover plant that could deal with dry shade. The very best variety to search for is ‘Green Carpet’, which includes glossy deep green leaves.

Other green flowers to attempt include Bells-of-Ireland (Moluccella laevis) along with the European snowball viburnum (Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’), which have flowers that are green in the immature phase before committing to white.

Bliss Garden Design

All-Green Garden Examples

This shade garden shows all of the attributes of a successful monochromatic green garden: variation in foliage colour, contrasting textures along with a mixture of foliage shapes and sizes.


In contrast with the previous tranquil woodland garden, this modern London town garden employs all the exact same monochromatic planting skills.

Although there is a minimal plant material in the design, there is once again a creative mixture of foliage colours, leaf textures and foliage and plant contours.

Art | Harrison Interiors & Collection

Is this the easiest monochromatic green garden? A minimalist green wall has been created with terra-cotta baskets, planted with a choice of sedums with a number of green foliage.

More: Unsung Garden Hero: Fantastic Foliage

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