6 great reds for a New Vintage planting scheme

In itself the colour RED is New Vintage.   Planting has concentrated on greens and whites and sometimes soft hay colours such as you see with naturalistic planting in grasses etc.  It is time to bring some colour back into our borders and this is part of my New Vintage scheme.  Chose a soft palette of colours, pink, purple and silver and then throw a red in amongst it.  A rich fat peony, a fluttering bright red poppy or if you are a bold a stunning peony.  You will keep the contemporary look by limiting the number of colours but let red be one of them.  New Vintage is here to stay. 

The poppy stands out

https://www.carolinegarland.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/IMG_9837-Small-300x200.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /> The poppy stands out

You only have to think of a red poppy to be reminded how stunning the red can look dotted in amongst greens, silvers and purples.

Poppies, Papaver can be annuals, biennials or herbaceous perennials with simple or pinnately divided leaves and short-lived, saucer-shaped, 4-petalled flowers which may be solitary or in racemes These beautiful plants are short lived but create specks of glory wherever they grow.  In a field, in a large border or in a New Vintage London garden.  The red in this tulip outclasses almost anything in terms of WOW.  See these popping up in your borders and you’ve died and gone to Heaven I can assure you.  They say it all.  Delicate, romantic, sentimental beauty, New Vintage.  How can you refuse?


Paeonia may be herbaceous perennials or deciduous sub-shrubs with large, divided leaves and showy large bowl-shaped flowers, usually in early summer.  Look at the dramatic effect this peony has even on its own foliage! Imagine how lovely they would look in your New Vintage garden…

Red peonies amongst alliumshttps://www.carolinegarland.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/IMG_4602-Small-300x200.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" />

Red peonies amongst alliums
The peony in all its glory

https://www.carolinegarland.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/IMG_1908-Small1-300x200.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /> The peony in all its glory

Tulips, tulips, tulips! These colours have been relatively unused in recent planting schemes.  However when you see this red and black together with the green foliage as backdrop one wonders why.  They would cheer up any border or any day for that matter! Tulips grow best in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun, sheltered from strong winds. All dislike excessively wet conditions.  Incorporate organic matter into the soil to improve both clay and sandy soils making them much more suitable for tulips.  Tulips flower early and give that first burst of colour to a New Vintage planting plan.

The red is breathtaking!

https://www.carolinegarland.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/P1160806-Small-300x199.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 721px) 100vw, 721px" /> Tulip red is breathtaking!

The wow factor of red in a New Vintage garden

https://www.carolinegarland.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/IMG_1853-Small-300x200.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /> The wow factor of red in a New Vintage garden


Dahlias are invaluable for the summer border, in patio containers or as cut flowers, often flowering until the first frosts. With many excellent recent introductions, they offer a wide range of flower types, often with very showy, double forms in warm vibrant colours. Dahlias are enjoying a much deserved return to popularity and are part of the New Vintage move!

Red dahlias at Great Dixter.  Very New Vintage

https://www.carolinegarland.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/IMG_0460-Small-300x200.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /> Red dahlias at Great Dixter. Very New Vintage

Dahlia 'Poppy Scotland'

https://www.carolinegarland.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/P1160217-Small-300x225.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px" /> Dahlia ‘Poppy Scotland’

The camelia is a lovely plant for the back of a deep border or stand alone in a narrow bed.  When they work they are so rewarding, but they can be a little temperamental.  Camellias are woodland plants that grow best in shelter and light shade, although with careful watering they can be grown in sunny positions. They prefer free-draining conditions, with plenty of organic matter, such as leaf mould, incorporated into the soil. Being ericaceous plants, camellias require an acid soil so if you don’t have an acid soil perhaps grow in a container.  These plants sum up New Vintage: lush, full, “back in the day” and romantic.


And never forget the camelia for early red impact in a New Vintage planting plan

https://www.carolinegarland.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/IMG_0463-Small-300x200.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px" /> And never forget the camelia for early red impact in a New Vintage planting plan

The rose!  Such an unused plant in recent years.   But they are evocative, romantic and enduring.  Don’t underestimate their use in your flower garden.  They are very New Vintage.  I want to see lots of roses cleverly used within a New Vintage border.  Three red roses in a cluster amongst soft muted colours will look amazing.

Below we have Tess of the d’Urbervilles’  which bears large, bright crimson blooms. They are beautifully formed; deeply cupped with loosely packed petals intertwined at the centre of each bloom. The petals eventually turn back to give a domed, less formal, but still attractive, flower. They bend over with their weight, to give an elegant effect. There is a pleasing Old Rose fragrance. It is a good choice for cutting for arrangements in the home. It forms a healthy, medium-sized shrub with robust, bushy and spreading growth. The large, dark green leaves complement the colour and size of the blooms perfectly. With its striking, crimson blooms it will make a very pretty sight both as a shrub and as a short climber, especially when fanned out to encourage maximum flowering. Its relatively compact growth makes it ideal for growing against an obelisk or on wall near a doorway. Named after the heroine of Thomas Hardy’s nove



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