The Future's Bright, The Future's... Orange

My local garden centre and the city of Bath may have chosen pink geraniums as their seasonal planting, but in Bristol it's bright orange instead. I snapped these on the outskirts of Broadmead last Thursday, but also saw examples around College Green and in the Centre. BTW the camber of the streets is a bit strange where I took this photo, which is why the new Primark store in the background looks like it's falling over, yet the traffic lights and people are nicely upright.

I like this planting. It's bold and just the thing on a rainy day, which is when I saw it. The more I look at seasonal bedding, the more I believe the mass plantings of one or two varieties only are the ones which work best for me. I even like the grass that's used (!) because it adds some needed height to this very large border and because its darkness contrasts so well with the brightness of the Geraniums. However, I've forgotten which one it is, even though it was particularly trendy last year - can anyone ID it for me?

I had a reunion with some of my ex-colleagues at lunchtime - which was great - so I also took the opportunity to have a quick run round Bristol beforehand. Some outdoor space design best practice and Banksy will follow shortly :)

In the meantime, I hope you're having a good weekend.

Update 21/9/2009: At last I have an ID for the grass as I found a labelled plant at Kilver Court yesterday: it's Pennisetum glaucum 'Purple Majesty'. It seems to have been the plant of choice for adding height to summer borders in public planting schemes this year.


  1. VP girl ! .. You would have to know that I absolutely LOVE the orange : ) It looks wonderfully bright there ... and .. well you know what I'm going to say I bet ? ORANGE is one of my favorite Halloween colours !!!

  2. I love orange--it's hard to find true ornage plants; butterfly weed and guara are two of my favorites.

  3. Orange is not my favorite color, though I'm not surprised it's Joy's:) But it is a bold color and perfect for a planting such as this. I agree that mass plantings of one or two plants work the best in places like this and make more of an impact.

    Just caught up with your post about the exhibit at Trafalgar Square--how fun! If I lived in London, I think it would be fun to be part of this "artwork." Maybe I would take some flowers and a laptop with me and blog:)

  4. I love the orange, what a fantastic colour. The whole level of the Broadmead area of Bristol is rather funny (at some point in the late med/ post med period they tried to change it by several meters!), I was involved in the excavation and post-excavation work of the Broadmead development (and Finzels Reach more recently). Bristol has some fascinating archaeology :o)

  5. I love orange flowers, though I'm not that keen on Geraniums (or bedding plants generally).

    R has to go to 2 meetings in Bristol later in the year, so I might just get to see how bright they are for myself. Hmmm ... no, I think I will probably stay in the cottage and rest so I have the energy to go and see some gardens on other days instead!

  6. VP - I am also coming around to the idea that public planting of one (or two) species works and although orange is not my best colour - it is quite jolly.
    I am trying out my open id here, on a friendly blog :)

  7. Joy - somehow I knew it would meet with your approval ;)

    Monica - I've only come across the pink and the white Gaura here.

    Rose - I don't usually go for orange or bright either, but somehow it fitted that scene perfectly. It just goes to show we shouldn't throw any idea out of the window - there's bound to be a place for it somewhere!

    RO - How interesting! Thanks for adding the info - now I know why I couldn't get everything lined up when I took the photo. Now I'm wondering if you were involved in the excavations around Temple Quay...

    Juliet - well if you change your mind, Bristol's pretty good for planting. There's more to come...

    Karen - glad the Open ID thing worked for you :)


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