Travel is one of the best ways to gain knowledge and inspiration. From cultures, to food, to people, there’s always something new waiting at the end of a plane journey – even new gardening styles!
I travelled to Canada earlier this month. In a country where the weather is so extreme, you wouldn’t think that anything interesting is growing at this time of year – but you would be wrong!
I managed to spot lots of unique and inspiring gardening styles – and here are 9 that got me really excited…
1. Wildflower combos
I simply couldn’t get enough of this Canadian native flower colour combo, the rich purple of Aster with the playful yellow of Solidago. I got to thinking about how we could emulate this in our own gardens, it works really well. Liatris with Doronicum, perhaps?
2. Chrysanthemums and Pennisteum
These blew my mind, and it took me a while to work out how they were made! Apparently, the containers are pre planted with Pennisteum grass plugs when very young, surrounded by Chrysanthemums, which later develops into a fantastic fireworks concept!
3. Euphorbia and Ivy
This flower bed really had a touch of Avatar style bed to it, with two very simple ingredients, Euphorbia myrsinites with Ivy!
4. Glass gem corn
As everywhere in North America, fall (also known as autumn to us) is celebrated widely. Decorations are placed outside the home, and lots of chrysanthemums are on sale this time of year, plus gourds, pumpkins AND these fantastic Glass Gem Corn!
5. Huge Hostas
Hosta, in bloom, off the scale! Barely troubled by slugs too. What a dream world!
6. Mosaic gardening
Canada is the home of mosaic gardening, and there were some fantastic examples. This bed in the Toronto Botanic Garden had an excellent, well manicured display, but I particularly like the informality of the Alternanthera poking up!
7. Innovative containers
In a lot of the planting around Niagara area, there is a great deal of innovation, especially with containers. Who would’ve dreamt that Parsley could be used as a filler??
8. Roses as powdery mildew indicator
Red roses are often planted as a powdery mildew indicator at the end of each vineyard row of grape plants! That way, they can spot the early signs of development.
9. Unusual bedding choices
Spider Plants as bedding… Go tell that to the houseplant loving millennials!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook.