Help - I loathe orange!

Kendra Wilson solves this age-old dilemma

When people claim to loathe orange (before adding red and yellow to the list), it’s possible that a fear of bad taste is blinding them to the bigger picture. A denial of yellow is to dismiss cowslips and so many other spring flowers that sparkle in the early sunshine. The decadence of late summer would be sadly diminished without dahlias in every shade of velvety red. And orange itself does not have to be neon: pale orange, as seen on crocosmia ‘George Davison’ is positively delicate, peering over a mass of strap-shaped leaves in fresh green.

All sunset colours go well with green, and foliage, according plantswoman Beth Chatto, is even more important than flowers. With their emphasis on form, texture and movement through the garden, flowers take a decided second place, whatever colour they are.

Some richly coloured dahlias, such as the classic ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ and relations, are handsomely offset by their dark, almost black, leaves. Flower colour is just one consideration in a border like the one shown here. In a quest for simplification, it’s worth noting that reds, yellows and oranges all go well together. There is harmony in a controlled palette like this. Add a strong contrast, like cobalt blue, and the sunny colours will begin to jar again.

THIS EXTRACT is from Kendra Wilson’s My Garden is a Car Park and Other Design Dilemmas (£12.99, Laurence King) and available at To enjoy a 35% discount, enter code GARDEN35 at the checkout on the Laurence King website before 31 March 2017


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