Graffiti is a genre of art that never gets old. We first saw it in the streets, and now it has made its way into galleries and even our homes, thanks to the medium’s opportunity for raw creativity. Graffiti often displays a message of some sort, or it might contain lots of imagery with hidden meanings, but even at its most basic it’s one of the only mediums that can brighten up a dull street or a derelict building.
If you’re longing for a touch of graffiti in your front or back garden, I’ve got a clever way to satisfy your colour-lust: plant up a graffiti garden! Natural graffiti protects both manmade structures and actually has a positive impact on the environment. It’s a simpler way to add colour and interest to a space, without getting into trouble with a can of spray paint! In fact, it’s so easy to become a natural graffiti artist – all you need are the plants, and we have some super cool ones for you!
What is a graffiti garden?
A graffiti garden is an area that contains plants which are known for long-lasting colour, and in many different colours! Just like good graffiti, you won’t have to do a lot of maintenance once the initial time has been put into creating it – just a little spruce-up here and there. Graffiti gardens should be low-stress, but high on the enjoyment scale.
When it comes to picking plants for your graffiti garden, there are plenty of bright new specimens to choose from. And it’s more than just green leaves… we have purple, pink, golden, orange, even marbled multi-coloured!!
Benefits of colour in the garden
There’s no doubt that colour has an impact on the way we feel in a certain environment. In fact, there’s a whole area of alternative medicine linking colour to wellbeing – it’s called ‘chromotherapy’. This centuries-old therapy was used by the ancient Greeks, and works on the basis that each colour has a unique wavelength and therefore emits a certain energy which can improve your physical and mental wellbeing.
Although it’s not quite an exact science, it can’t just be coincidence that we feel a certain way when exposed to colour! I’m sure that many of you have bought Daffodils because their cheery yellow colouring perked up your mood, or maybe even relaxed in a Bluebell forest because the cool blue tones were calming!
If you want to become a natural graffiti artist, you should give some thought about the colours you pick for your garden and what impact they might have on your mood in future. Here’s some insight into the psychological effects of each colour:
- Blue: Tranquility, healing, protection, spirituality
- Green: Freshness, fertility, healing, wealth
- Yellow: Energy, happiness, warmth, intellect
- Purple: Regalness, spirituality, ambition, luxury, wealth
- Pink: Health, happiness, compassion, playfulness
- Red: Power, love, passion, strength, desire, energy
- Orange: Confidence, friendliness, success
5 plants recommended for your graffiti garden
Now that you’ve got an idea of the kind of plants that a graffiti garden should contain, and which colours you think would be most beneficial for the look and feel of your garden, here’s a run-down of five fantastic plants to consider for your new venture as a natural graffiti artist!
1. Loropetalum chinense ‘Ever Red’
The intense red flowers combine with the dark burgundy foliage on Loropetalum chinense Ever Red to form a really striking shrub with a long blooming period. Utterly striking, in and out of flower, Loropetalum are incredibly under-rated for garden or patio.
2. Senecio ‘Angel Wings’
How about a silver sheen for your borders, and what’s even better, the leaves have a downy feel to the touch! This Senecio was found down a ravine, and it rapidly becoming the must-have plant for stylish gardeners! Read the full story here.
3. Cotinus coggygria ‘Golden Lady’
Wow. Just wow! Brighten up your graffiti garden world with luminous Cotinus coggygria Golden Lady – plants offer an electrifying combo of yellow, green and orange! A durable shrub for urban gardens.
4. Thuja ‘Sunny Smaragd’
One of the more lively conifers, Thuja Sunny Smaragd oozes energy and happiness in a compact, pyramid-shaped habit. Far less invasive than its bigger cousins, ‘Sunny Smaragd’ would make the perfect accent for a graffiti garden!
5. Acer shirasawanum ‘Moonrise’
Add a blaze of colour to your garden with the chartreuse leaves of Acer shirasawanum ‘Moonrise’. It’s ideal as a standalone centrepiece or as part of a colourful border. The leaves parade through a rainbow of colours from spring through to autumn!
Which plants would you put in your graffiti garden? Let me know in the comments section below!
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. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.