I never wear red, apart from a groovy pair of red plastic shoes - a Christmas present, perfect gardening footwear for weeding the water race. Here's a toast to all the other, non-plastic red things in the Moosey Garden.
Am I glad I chose and planted you all? Absolutely! And if I didn't, am I glad that you decided to grow in my garden? Of course!
The Red Bishop
First a special mention to all the self sown red dahlias, which pop up here, there, and everywhere. I would never have bothered to buy you, but from late summer on your glorious flowers are so vibrant and bright. There are so many of you - and even if thrown carelessly on a compost pile by the fence-line you bear no grudge and still flower for me.
Special Red Dahlia
I grow one special red dahlia which exudes class - Bishop Llandaff is his name, and all glossy British garden books give him full marks. His beautiful bronze foliage is just the thing for the stylish late perennial border. The snobbiest of gardeners will happily encourage the good Bishop to warm up their gardens - indeed he may be the only dahlia allowed in. And he is brilliantly red!
Red Rose - Still Flowering
Red roses are for the romantically minded - so I won't mention some of the spindly, runty David Austin reds that I try and grow. Parkdirektor Riggers is much healthier - the strong silent type, as red as a nose-bleed. He climbs over an archway in my Hazelnut Orchard.
Parkdirektor Riggers Roses
Other single red roses, like Parade and Redcoat, are also much loved in my garden. Two Redcoats lean on a small fence in my vegetable garden and seems to flower for months and months.
My Berberis shrubs are annoying - prickly to prune, horrible to handle. Many have seeded and planted themselves, thanks to the digestive systems of the Moosey birds. Then, when autumn arrives they turn the fiercest shades of red, and all is forgiven. I even claim them as a theme running through my planting design. Hee hee - thanks, birds!
Small Red Rhododendron
And I mustn't forget my spring flowering red rhododendrons. You are just the best, and I love you all - even you who wish to remain anonymous!
Red Leafed Trees and Shrubs
Am I glad that I planted red leafed trees and shrubs early on in the gardens over the water race? I'll say! My red Maples get well and truly smothered in the rich, messy colours of mid-summer. Slow-growing, planted in sheltered spots where the wind won't damage them, they shine out in the autumn with brilliant red leaf colour.
The Dogwoods and Oak trees will be next - as the days get colder these lovely trees will warm things up with their colours of flame.
Finally, when there is little colour left, and all the leaves have dropped, my red New Zealand flaxes start to glow. What beautiful colours they are! Pinky reds, rusty reds, maroons, burgundies and clarets - the colours of a hot wintry mulled wine. Perfect for warming up the winter garden - and the winter gardener!