The iconic films Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory and Charlie & The Chocolate Factory literally ooze with sweetness and colour. I’m sure many of us, whether as adults or children, have imagined what it would be like to live in a world where everything was edible! In our gardens that’s true to a certain extent if you grow your own produce – but what about the colour? Are we really making the most of it?
What does a Charlie & The Chocolate Factory style border look like?
Even though Tim Burton, whose directorial style is famously dark and macabre, brought this film to life, the colours in certain parts of the movie are bright and vivid! Just take a look at the Chocolate Room scene below:
When recreating this aesthetic in your borders, you want to opt for lush greens, candy reds, cheerful yellows, as well as pink and purple hues to add a real rainbow of colour to your garden. You’ll want it to look like a sweet shop, but in flower form!
Which flowers should I use?
There are so many flowers to choose from when it comes to adding colour to your garden, but when it comes to this unique style, I suggest opting for Dahlias – they’re vibrant and buxom, and bring height and dimension to any garden.
Plus, with the RHS noting ‘comfort planting’ as a trend this year, Dahlias are right on the money. The Society said:
“Roses and hydrangeas won out in 2020 as gardeners turned to old, reliable favourites with big blooms and long flowering periods.”
They continued: “However, that demand is set to translate into shortfalls this year with delphiniums, lupins, foxgloves and poppies instead likely to be top candidates for those wanting to create a cottage-garden look.”
Like the four flowers that The RHS has listed above, Dahlias are old favourites, adored by everyone from cottage gardeners to landscapers, and they’re making a huge comeback! Dahlias are definitely comfort planting essentials, being large, border filling plants; effortlessly floriferous; and relatively easy to grow. One particular collection that springs to mind when thinking about comfort planting is the Dahlia Maggiore Collection from Thompson & Morgan. It features an array of six beautiful Dahlia Maggiore varieties, each selected for their bold colours, striking blooms and garden performance. This is the perfect collection for filling gaps in perennial borders around your garden or adding a colourful splash to your indoor flower displays.
There are four favourites with a mix of pink, red and yellow, pink and cream and purple and red flowers. There are also two brand new-to-QVC varieties – Chocolate Yellow with bright yellow blooms and dark foliage, along with Fun Pastel featuring white blooms with hints of pale yellow and purple. Straight out of a sweet shop, you could say!
Delivered between mid-April and early May, each of the Dahlia plants in this collection have been grown on into 9cm (3.5″) pots, so are ready to create an instant, dramatic display in your garden borders or containers. They are robust, free-flowering varieties that will add drama to beds, borders or patio containers so you can even plan where they’re going to go before they arrive.
Inside and out
Cut flower gardeners will appreciate the tall sturdy stems and repeat flowering ability of these easy-to-grow dahlia plants. Don’t forget, Dahlias bloom continuously throughout the summer and the more you cut them, the more they will re-bloom.
Wildlife attracted: butterflies
Flowering period: July – October
Plant position: full sun
Soil type: rich, fertile, well-drained soil
Mature size (h x w): 70cm x 30cm (27.6″ x 11.8″)
Whether you’re a Violet Beauregard, Augustus Gloop or Charlie himself, you’ll be sure to adore these super sweet blooms! Let me know what you think of the collection 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 – and writes a plant-focused Substack called Grow This, Not That.