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Sunday May 09 , 2021

Blue Daisy Blog

Blue Daisy blog written by Nicki Jackson & Jules Clark - for news, views, garden design, gardening and plant observations and thoughts.

Recent blog posts

Garden Design Quick Tip: Focal Points

Posted by on in Garden Design

focalpointThe purpose of a focal point in the garden is to ‘bring the garden into focus’ - and while it might sound pretentious what it’s really about is leading or directing the garden viewer’s eye to a particular point or points in a garden.

It’s almost like a signpost that tells a viewer where to look and give their attention and in looking at the focal point, the setting around it - the rest of the garden - suddenly seems to come into focus too. 

It’s a typical designer’s trick but we all tend to do it inside our homes without thinking – the fireplace, the coffee table with a striking ornament or flower arrangement, the large screen TV on the wall – all of these things are focal points, but they give balance and context to the rest of the room they’re in. The same principle applies to the outdoor space too.  

The means of creating focal points in the garden are limitless – you can create them with sculptures, plant pots, colour, planting, structures, water, doorways, shapes, collections of things – the list does go on and on. There were some lovely examples at Chelsea Flower Show 2013.

The trick to using focal points though is to limit them; you only want 1 per ‘viewing area’ or section of a garden otherwise they will compete with each other and the viewer’s focus of the garden will be lost.

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Chelsea Flower Show 2013

Posted by on in Garden Design

In case you’ve missed mention of it The RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been on this week and I’ve been gutted that I haven’t had the opportunity to go down and check it out for myself this year.  While it’s for a good reason - I’ve been so busy doing designs for Blue Daisy's own clients - not being able to get there in person hasn't stopped me taking a sneaky peek at the TV occasionally.  From what I’ve managed to see, here are some of my favourite garden designer bits:

Arthritis Research GardenDesigner Chris Beardshaw never seems to disappoint, and this year he continues to inspire with his Arthritis Research Garden.  A personal journey for him - he was diagnosed with arthritis in his teens - his planting is absolutely gorgeous and I just love the scupture that's forming the focal point in this shot. 

This garden is a sum of its parts and is split into 3 sections that represent the journey that arthritis sufferers go through from diagnosis through to managing their condition effectively and with confidence.  The warm, vibrant planting in this image forms the Radiant Garden, representative of that final happier stage.  See Chris Beardshaw talk about his 2013 show garden here.

Chris won a well deserved gold medal for his efforts and the coveted People's Choice award.

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Using Colour in the Garden

Posted by on in Garden Design

colourwheelHow people use colour is quite personal and if one person said the colour red to 20 people, those 20 people would view the colour red in different tones or hues. This means that colour is subjective and is undoubtedly affected by our own likes and dislikes as well as location, light levels and use of the garden.

Colours can appear in different ways to us for example, red is classed as a 'hot colour' and it really does demand your attention and has the effect of coming towards you. Yellow also comes towards you but isn't as demanding as red yellow tends to reflect available light. Green is 'cool', it makes a good backdrop to other colours and blue is a very cool colour that often seems to merge with the background and looks smaller to its red counterpart.

Hot colours – red, orange and yellows - are strong, warm, attention seeking, stimulating and lively and can make your space feel smaller and more intimate. Most plants that fit this description will come from the sunnier climates like South Africa and the tropics. These colours can become quite difficult to see during the evening or in lower light levels.

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The Future of Horticulture

Posted by on in News & Views

rhs wisley july 2010-359I think most of you who know me and/or read my blogs know that I'm quite passionate about the horticultural industry and I always encourage my customers to learn new skills in their garden.  In Victorian times we had so much knowledge and many skills we were world leaders in the horticultural industry.  These skills were being passed down the generations, sadly both World War 1 & 2  took many lives and with them the vast horticultural knowledge and skills we had disappeared. 

I am so pleased to read in the RHS magazine that the RHS has recently begun to lobby the government for the first time regarding this industry and as such children in England could be taking gardening lessons at school from September 2014.  The proposed changes could apply to children in both primary and secondary schools who could learn how to cultivate plants for practical purposes whether that is for food or for decorative displays.  

There is also linked to this a distinct lack of careers advice for school leavers for this industry which means that many school leaves either don't consider that horticulture is an option or it is seen as an industry to enter if you have failed at school. I know we can't change everything overnight, it saddens me that some people feel that horticulture is a dead end job but where would we be without crops for food, trees for timber and of course every plant in existence allows us humans to breath and exist.  

I am so pleased that there may indeed be a few organisations out there lobbying for our industry, well done to those that have put horticulture on the agenda and I will play my small part to encourage my team to continue to learn every day as I will and also my customers to pick up a trowel and have a go!

Please, if you feel as I do about our wonderful industry share this article on Facebook or Twitter, contact me and give me your thoughts and opinions and if you have children talk to them about their options which could include horticulture.

 

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Colour in your Garden

Posted by on in Garden Design

colourborder

How people use colour is quite personal and if one person said the colour red to 20 people, those 20 people would view the colour red in different tones or hues.  This means that colour is subjective and is undoubtedly affected by our own likes and dislikes as well as location, light levels and use of the garden.

Colours can appear in different ways to us for example, red is classed as a ‘hot colour’ and it really does demand your attention and has the effect of coming towards you.  Yellow also comes towards you but isn’t as demanding as red yellow tends to reflect available light.  Green is ‘cool’, it makes a good backdrop to other colours and blue is a very cool colour that often seems to merge with the background and looks smaller to its red counterpart.  

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