Stay Cool at Chartwell

Cool colour scheme in one of the Rose Garden outer beds

Summer appears to be finally here and it’s been bloomin’ hot here in the gardens at Chartwell this week! In fact our weather station gave readings of over 35 degrees on Wednesday, although we think some of that heat may have radiated on to the sensor from the bricks of our potting shed! Apart from finding refuge from the midday sun under one of the trees in our Parkland, another method you could try is to gaze upon some of the cool colour schemes around the gardens!

The picture above was taken in Lady Churchill’s Rose Garden and shows a particularly effective use of cool colours as designed by Matt, our Formal Gardens Supervisor. This is in keeping with the wishes of Lady Churchill herself because she much preferred softer colours such as pinks and whites to hot yellows or oranges for instance. Along this bed, which you will see on your left if you enter the Rose Garden from the Marlborough Pavilion, you will find the likes of blue Ageratum houstonianum, white Argyranthemum frutescens, pink Penstemon ‘Evelyn’ and both pink and purple Salvia horminum. Some of the other highlights of this area are spotlighted below:

The flowers of this pink Cleome are simply stunning. They look as if a swarm of bizarre but beautiful insects have landed on the plant. White Cleome can also be found in this border…

Many visitors have been asking about this Hydrangea recently which sits big and tall at the back of the border. In case you were wondering, its a Hydrangea aspera subsp. sargentiana!

There are two completely different example of Campanula in this border. This Campanula lactiflora ‘Prichard’s Variety’ is well over 1m tall…

…while this little Campanula portenschlagiana hugs the soil, providing good ground cover. It just goes to show that just because two plants share the same Genus, they can still appear to be worlds apart to the untrained eye.

Cool colours such blues and purples and soft pinks are said to have a calming, relaxing influence on a planting scheme. Grey or glaucus foliage such as the Argyranthemum in this border help to enhance this effect. Cool colour schemes encourage restfulness and trigger viewers to pause or slow down within a particular area. This range of colours are also said to be ‘receding colours’. This means that they help to make a planted area appear larger. A woodland of bluebells for instance can seem to go on forever. The advantage of white flowers within a design helps neighbouring colours to retain their true appearance. Whites and other pale colours are also well suited to a shady spot where they can really seem to ‘pop’ and shine. However, as the picture below shows, this border also looks great when the sun shines on it later in the day:

The colour scheme continues to the back wall where pink Rosa ‘Ballerina’, white Lupins and pink Clematis ‘Hagley Hybrid’ can be seen.
Still to emerge along this stretch are Penstemon ‘White Bedder’ and Hesperis matronalis.

Make Do And Mend

If you are still looking for further ways to stay cool at Chartwell when you next visit, another way might be to attend Hannah and Jess’ Make Do And Mend Workshop. They were very well received by children and families alike this week. Look for similar shady fun next week between 12.30pm and 3.30pm on the Old Croquet Lawn above the Rose Garden…

Jamie

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