Colour wheels and plant partnerships

Jan Mitchell
Jan Mitchell
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Jan Mitchell, from the Hayling Island Horticultural society, reports on the October talk by Victoria Ennion

Chairman Bill Biggs introduced Victoria Ennion, a highly qualified garden designer and lecturer, who gave an interesting and informative talk at the URC Hall to about 45 members on October 28.

Some of her illustrative slides were of her own garden in Winchester and others were of clients’ gardens.

She described foliage as a symphony in green, a framework for other colours.

She began by showing contrasts, between sizes, shapes and textures, using pictures of furry, shiny, matt and deeply-veined examples.

Size of leaves varied from fine, such as box, medium, large and enormous with gunnera as an example, and shapes can be spear-like, round, heart-shaped or serrated, to name but a few.

Some pictures were shown first in colour and then in black and white to show the importance of contrast in a garden with the interplay of tones and shadows.

She recommended fill-in plantings to link parts of a garden and to provide ground cover, cutting down weeding and providing a continuous theme.

Victoria then introduced the colour wheel showing how colours at different parts of the wheel’s colours go well together and then proceeded to go through all the foliage colours, showing pictures of good plant partnerships.

Particularly striking was her use of bronze and tawny tones which go well with greens.

Her advice is that if a combination does not work, to try a different contrast of colour, size, texture or shape of leaves.

A very good tip was to plant a clematis under a spring flowering shrub to prevent it from looking dull during the summer.

Bill thanked Victoria and conducted the 100+ club draw and the raffle run by Peter and Carole Burton.

He then reminded everyone of the AGM to be held on November 25.

Finally, the refreshments were served by June Kemp and her team.

In 2016, Hayling Island Horticultural Society will be offering first, second and third prizes of £50, £30 and £20 for the daffodil, rose, sweet pea, dahlia and vegetable championships at the three annual shows held at Hayling Island Community Centre.

For more details, see

Hayling Island Horticultural Society was founded in 1886. It is run by its members for its members. We have near 900 households as members, including many located off the island.