Design yourself a pink garden

Pink is one of the most popular flower colours; it is charming, calming and romantic. This Valentine’s Day, choose from a wide variety of pink-flowering plants ranging from the soft delicate pinks to rich magenta hues.

The quickest way to achieve a romantic pink garden is to choose summer-flowering bedding plants. You can also plant pink bedding plants in a container to give as a Valentine’s Day gift.

This classic oriental landscape offers a modern approach to creating a border of pinks.

For instant pink colour, try allysum, bedding dahlia, dianthus, lavatera, nicotiana, penstemon, petunia, phlox, portulaca, verbena or zinnia. For partial shade, consider New Guinea impatiens, begonia or coleus.

Designing with pink

If you are really brave, design an entire garden around pink, varying the effect where desired by using one of many tried-and-tested colour combinations. This approach is particularly effective in small townhouse gardens. Or, you may be more interested in planting a particular section of the garden in pinks. Begin with a secluded nook with a pretty bench for two. Or, go for pinks on your patio.

Professional designers often use pastel pinks to create an illusion of distance in a border where a garden is wider than it is long. By planting the back of a border in pastels, the garden appears to have greater depth. When planted on the long sides of a narrow garden, pastels can make it seem wider.

Summer pinks

The many tints and tones of pink, from the softest pastel to the vibrant hot pinks, offer a host of choices. For rose enthusiasts, the rose is the queen of the pinks. Begin by planting large shrub roses (try Queen Elizabeth) or tall standards (Pink Iceberg) at the back of the border. Medium-sized roses do well in the middle and ground cover roses at the front of a bed. Many of the latter make superb patio plants when grown in containers.

Another reliable and long-lasting pink bloomer is the marguerite daisy (Argyranthemum frutescens).

Pink hebes, with their spires of flowers, will add another shape variation to the border.

Shrub or standard-grown pink hibiscus and frangipani will thrive in warmer gardens, while the water-wise Pride of India provides stunning colour in dry regions. The large blooms of the hydrangea are ideal for a shady spot in the garden, and flower in November.

For instant colour, plant perennials and annuals. Taller plants such as cannas, cleome and hollyhocks thrive in the back of a border. Dianthus, bedding dahlias, diascia and petunia are colourful and long-blooming front-of-the-border plants. In shade, plant New Guinea impatiens and begonia. Pink at medium height is provided by the delicate and water-wise gaura, cosmos, nicotiana, pentas, penstemon and zinnia. In sunny spots on the patio, place pots of pink pelargoniums and petunias. In shady areas, place New Guinea impatiens, begonias, fuchsias and anthuriums.

Colour combinations

Whether pink is used in a monochromatic (single) colour scheme, or in association with other colours, it can enhance your landscape through all the seasons. Below are some ideas: