Saturday, April 18, 2009


I like to see the colour red in gardens or on the football field.

To appreciate the colour red, it is worth viewing the giant sculpture by Anish Kapoor in the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Queensland.

Anish Kapoor, India /UK b1954
Untitled 2007
Resin ,fibreglass, lacquer
'Red is the colour I've felt very strongly about .....Of course it's the colour of the interior of our bodies. In a way it's inside out.' Anish Kapoor

Red in smaller works such as this sculpture by Lenton Parr playfully reminds us of farm machinery and the world of the tractor ,the story of which was so engagingly told in the Marina Lewycka novel A short history of tractors in Ukrainian.

Lenton Parr (1924-2003)
Rigel 1968
Painted Steel

When it comes to red in the garden, it is the red rose which is at the top of the list. My favourite one is the hybrid tea 'Mister Lincoln' which is reliable and free flowering ,producing lots of long buds which open to well formed long lasting flowers.The perfume is deep and rich.

Rosa Hybrid Tea 'Mister Lincoln'

There are lots of good red flowering Hibiscus which are still producing blooms even as the days get cooler. Below is the rich velvety red of 'Mollie Cummings' which has a glowing sheen to the petals.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Mollie Cummings'

Sometimes it is red foliage which is the feature. I have yet to confirm the identity of this plant and only know it by the ridiculous common name of "Garden Clown"

The red flowering Nerium oleander is one of the hardiest varieties known and is regarded as a freeze tolerant variety in the United States. The colour is so dark , it often needs a lighter coloured background to show it off well.

Red flowering annuals such as the Celosia below can look very regimented and a bit severe when viewed up close but when mixed with silver or black foliage and white flowers they really come alive.

Celosia argentea plumosa 'Kewpie Red'

The red Geranium is a bit of a garden classic especially when grown in terracotta pots. The one below is more on the orange side and is really vermilion in colour.

The dwarf flowering Eucalyptus 'Summer Red' is in flower now and looking spectacular.

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