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Sherbets page 214 The Gardener's Palette by Jo Thompson © Rachel Warne
© Rachel Warne

Jo Thompson's five favourite colour combinations

Published: May 19, 2022 at 9:00 am

Jo Thompson picks five of her favourite planting combinations from her new book, The Gardener's Palette, exclusively for Gardens Illustrated

In her book, A Gardener's Palette: Creating Colour Harmony in the Garden (published on 7 June 2022) Jo Thompson picks out 100 planting schemes in different hues, explaining why they work so well and why she likes them. Here, she picks five of her favourite combinations.

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Tutti frutti

Tutti-Frutti page 202-203 The Gardener's Palette by Jo Thompson © Rachel Warne
© Rachel Warne

An eye-opener of a colour collection, bright magentas and fizzing oranges delight as they catch the eye.

Plants: Phlox drummondii, Oenethera lindheimerei Belleza series, Achillea 'Walter Funcke', Eryngium 'Pen Blue', Knautia macedonica

Aspect: Sun

Sherberts

Sherbets page 214 The Gardener's Palette by Jo Thompson © Rachel Warne
© Rachel Warne

The mention of a sweetshop seems to strike a chord with many: mouthwatering sherbet colours work softly with each other to create a feel that at the same time both looks backwards and forwards, bringing with their soft tones both familiarity and excitement.

Plants used: Geranium x oxonianum 'Lace Time', Phlox drummondii 'Creme Brulee', Iris 'Pink Charm', Verbascum 'Helen Johnson', Rosa 'Buff Beauty', Daucus carota 'Dara'

Wine, peach and coral

Wine, peach and coral page 58-59 The Gardener's Palette by Jo Thompson © Rachel Warne
© Rachel Warne

A combination of colours that work together and create surprising harmony due to the surprising tones that they share deep within their petals.

Plants used: Astrantia major 'Rubra', Paeonia 'Pink Hawaiian Coral', Rosa 'Buff Beauty'

Aspect: Full sun

Pink

Jo Thompson pink colour combination

A classic, this shade resonates in the memory. Soft and pretty, elegant, a colour which stops us in our tracks.

Plants used: Rosa Mary Rose (=Ausmary), Rosa 'Charles de Mills', Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum', Campanula lactiflora 'Pritchard's Variety', Geranium pratense 'Mrs Kendall Clark', Geranium phaeum 'Lily Lovell'

Aspect: Sun

Green and white

Jo Thompson green and white colour combination
© Rachel Warne

Green and white, for me, is the freshness of morning light, the elegance of midday light, the serenity of the light in the evening. A gentle palette which is timeless in its appeal.

Plants used: Allium stipitatum 'Evereste', Hydrangea aborescens 'Annabelle', Buxus sempervirens, Taxus baccata

Aspect: Full sun / part shade

About Jo Thompson

The Gardener's Palette by Jo Thompson
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Jo Thompson is one of Britain's leading garden designers. Her second book, The Gardener's Palette: Creating Colour Harmony in the Garden (Timber Press in conjunction with the Royal Horticultural Society, £35), is published on 7 June 2022.
jo-thompson-garden-design.co.uk

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