And it was all yellow

When I first started seriously geeking out on gardening I kept reading again and again that “yellow is banished from gardens.” I wondered why. Now I suspect this dislike is a myth that stemmed from one opinion on the matter a few decades ago, repeated through the ages. Who was that person and why did they hate poor yellow so much? People do like yellow because I see them growing yellow flowers all the time.

Yellow is derided as too brash, which again doesn’t really make sense as a statement. Any colour can be brash if you use the wrong tone  and pair it with something that clashes. That might be your aim in a bright garden, but to avoid brash yellow you simply need to choose a pale pastel yellow or set it against complementary colours like browns, greens and greys.

I drew a line
I drew a line for you
Oh what a thing to do
And it was all yellow
– Coldplay, 2000

Yellow with a dab of orange in it can look very warm and inviting indeed. And nothing beats a patch of Rudbeckia for sheer glow on overcast autumn days. So yes I’m putting my neck out there and sticking up for yellow, like all colours, I’ve always loved it. The yellow roses in our family home as a child were my favourite and remain one today.

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Jack Wallington

I'm an RHS qualified garden designer living in Clapham, London who loves growing plants and designing with them. Follow me on Twitter.

4 thoughts on “And it was all yellow

  1. Couldn’t agree more Jack! Rudbeckia is one of my favourites, and what a dull world it would be without yellow in the garden! At the moment we have Daffodils, Forsythia, Primula, still a few Crocus, and soon they will be joined by Wallflowers – all Yellow!!

    1. Hoorah! Thanks Phil! Our neighbour has the most wonderful all yellow spring flowers with forsythia and yellow roses, it’s so bright and strong as a colour. I love it.

  2. Just came inside from a blustery winter Colorado day, I’m unloading and stacking firewood for next winter. Seeing your array of yellow flowers warms me as much today as yellow does in Summer’s garden. Thanks for posting.

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