wpid-Photo0533-1.jpgThe silver grey dust of the Tuileries garden in Paris still coats my shoes. No doubt London rain might cleanse them, but not even Scottish greyness, to which I soon return, will wash away the colours of THOSE waterlilies from my eyes, or the glisten of orange flowers amongst the dark and dusty foliage. All wonderful.

But bedding… Normally something, being silly, that makes me shudder snobbishly, but which, on the approach to the Tuileries gardens at the bottom of the Champs Elysee, gave total delight, and of the sort that won’t fade either. Obviously, the bedding idea is developing splendidly. There’s been ribbon bedding, subtropical bedding, 3D bedding, but now there is, delightfully, Meadow Bedding.

Alas, it was a rather grey morning, so the magic, which I assure you was real, vanished inside the camera.

Still, what was special? After all, it was all the usual plant stuff – forget-me-nots, pansies, tulips, stocks, and a few centaureas. Well, for starters, it was a sort of carefree ‘meadow’ planting – no sense of pattern or order or the sort of control that usually affects the planting of ‘bedding plants’. But the colours were different.

For starters, the forget-me-nots were almost all purest white. The pansies were actually violas – that is without the black markings that make the ‘face’ of pansy, but also complicate its visuals – were in palest blue, mid-blue and occasional rich purples. The tulips were also almost all white, but varied in the form of the flowers, in the plainness or frilledness of their petals, but all hugely visible above the lower level of flowers. And they were a sort of scatter; hardly the stiff and serried ranks which they so often affect.

A few silver leafed artemisias (Lambrook Silver, I think), added to the white, and the stocks were double white Éast Lothians’, and a very much fewer plants of the purple form, but both equally gorgeously perfumed.

They were all planted on wide sloping beds, but the scheme would work just as well in the flat, as it was outside the ‘Grand Palais’, where the colour base was purple, with touches of pink and amber.

Maintenance? Well, I suppose the whole planting will get stripped out in the next few weeks. All very sad – it just means that we need to go back and see what gets planted next. Sad indeed….


About david stuart

garden writer and journalist, and occasionally a designer, with a garden in the Scottish borders, and his pal's gardens in Edinburgh, London, and Lincolnshire. They keep both of us very, very busy. Books I've written listed on my website, and dozens of articles and garden and plant pictures. Currently working on several new projects. One of these was to return to painting - see the blog - and which is proving exciting! or, more fun, have a look at
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