Planting for an Impressionist Garden

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When landscaping a garden, by using plant and shrub varieties with different coloured blooms you can achieve a striking visual impact. 

By combining wildflowers and herbaceous perennials you can make a section of your garden resemble a beautiful painting from an impressionist master such as Claude Monet. His 1873 depiction of the Poppy Field immediately provokes images of the perfect summer scene. It is a scene which can be quite simple to replicate when landscaping your own garden.

The Common Poppy

It is hard to imagine this popular flower was once considered just a weed. Its vibrant red flowers are instantly recognisable and elicit so many images and thoughts. They bloom from late spring to early summer and can also have flowers which are pink or white. It is a wonderfully showy annual wildflower and an ideal choice as part of an impressionistic planting combination.

Evening Primrose

The evening primrose is another showy plant which produces fragrant, bowl-shaped flowers. The flowers are white with a lovely texture reminiscent of crumpled satin. As the flowers progress they turn pink in hue with deep pink veining. As the name suggests the flowers open during the evening. The evening primrose is a perennial which can be quite a sprawling plant if left unchecked, but one of its main plus points is it is an easy plant to grow and a good option if new to gardening.


The various types of sage can provide lovely shades of purple to add to your impressionistic garden picture. Sage is a favourite in gardening for ornamental borders and the Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ variety offers particularly stunning dark purple stems topped with masses of gorgeous violet-blue flowers. 

You will have a summer long display of colour and regular dead-heading can extend the blooms in to mid-autumn. Other worthy sage varieties to consider are the compact Salvia nemorosa ‘Ostfreisland’ and the hardy Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ or wood sage plant.

Garden Catchfly

This is another lovely perennial which will add further colour to your landscaping design with its clusters of bright pink flowers. Garden Catchfly blooms in mid to late summer and can grow up to 45cm tall. This is another low maintenance plant, making gardening easier but at no costs to the overall visual impact to your outdoor space. The term ‘Catchfly’ relates to the sticky nature of the plant’s stem which can trap small insects.

A combination of these examples of wildflower and perennials can turn a part of your garden in to a scene envisaged by one of the great impressionist painters of the past. Not only will they add splendid colour varieties to the garden but the blooms will attract more bees, birds and butterflies to your outdoor space. Easy to maintain, considerate planting of these varieties can provide colourful flowering blooms throughout the summer months.

Our landscape team at Glorious Gardens is happy to discuss these ideas in planning your garden. If you’re considering a “re-do” of your outdoor space, we invite you to call us. We will brainstorm to find the right blend of elements to suit your tastes, your budget and your space.


By |2021-06-03T11:02:24+01:00July 2nd, 2020|Flowers, Garden Art, Transformations|Comments Off on Planting for an Impressionist Garden

About the Author:

In 2006 I formed Glorious Gardens, gathering together skilled practitioners to offer not just design but implementation of these designs and maintenance packages where we could look after the gardens once we had created them. Throughout my career I have designed gardens to inspire people with the heart aching beauty of nature, with shapes, colours, moods and proportions to pleasure the body and calm and delight the mind. I am also an artist who works with colour and abstract shapes and I bring this sensitivity to the 4 dimensions of a garden. I am very good at listening to clients and I’m able to draw out the essence of what a client wants for their outdoor space.