Urban Flowers by Carolyn Dunster
In the book garden designer Carolyn Dunster demonstrates hundreds of ways to make your outdoor space bloom and bring that success into your home. By using her colour-themed planting recipes, her charming projects, and a palette of reliable urban plants, you can turn the least promising corner into a thriving habitat for plants and wildlife which you can then use to decorate your home.
Doesn’t that sound fabulous?
To coincide with the book launch Carolyn has very kindly written us a fabulous guest post sharing us her top 5 tips on Urban Gardening. Over to Carolyn…
Urban flowers – KEEP IT SIMPLE
If you only have a tiny space keep it as streamlined and uncluttered as possible. Stick to a single material for your boundaries and paint any fencing or trellis in the same colour. If in doubt a muted green always works well as a backdrop that blends in with all types of planting.
Use the same hard landscaping material throughout and spend as much as you can afford. A seamless finish looks chic and will tie the space together. Have paving slabs or bricks laid professionally. The detail is incredibly important in a small space. The landscaping will be permanent and expensive to change and bad workmanship always sticks out like a sore thumb. Pea shingle or gravel bought from a builders’ yard is the most practical and least expensive solution if you want to do it yourself and will disguise a multitude of sins.
Urban flowers in pots
If you are gardening in pots use several matching statement planters or even a single planter for high impact rather than lots of mall ones. Repetition helps to create a well-thought out space that is easy on the eye. If you want to change things around do so with your planting and embrace the seasons.
Love orchids in pots – so exotic!
Sowing your own annual flowers and half-hardy perennials is the way to garden on a small scale at low cost that results in high yield in terms of flower productivity. When planning your planting restrict the colour palette to complementary tones and hues rather than those that contrast. For example for a selection of summer flowering plants that will give you plenty to pick in colours ranging from pinks through to dark burgundies include a variety of geraniums, astrantia such as Ruby Wedding and Ruby Cloud, cornflowers such as Black Ball , pink and black opium poppies, pink scabious and cosmos and dark claret coloured sanguisorba.
Add a rose and a peony if you have space. All these varieties will provide you with enough flower heads for gorgeous hand-tied posies that you can pick for your home or give to friends. Just include a selection of evergreens such as euphorbias, bupleurum and some ferns to provide year-round foliage.
Embrace the maintenance of urban flowers
A little regular titivating that includes weeding and dead heading will keep your space neat and tidy at all times. Set aside the few same hours every week or ten mimutes at the end of each day to potter around your space. It is great therapy and hugely rewarding to grow your own flowers. Remember too to simply sit and look at your accomplishments – get to know your flowers and watch them bud and bloom they are nothing short of miraculous.
You can find Carolyn’s website at www.urban-flowers.co.uk
Do take a look at my post on the benefits of flowers
and also at my post on floristry courses
You might also like my post on simple Spring flowers