No, not ‘conkers’. Bonkers. This isn’t another Autumnal planting blog.
Bonkers – as in the hit by Naughty, sorry, Dizzee Rascal, the erstwhile East London street scamp now hanging with the hip hop massive in Miami. In a departure from my usual blog posts for mydeco, I thought I’d do something more like my usual offerings – fewer plants and more ramblings through the world of popular culture.
I was listening to Nemone this week on Radio 6 Music, discussing which tracks were guaranteed to get dance floors heaving in a sweaty mass of excitedly gyrating shapes. The list was long and varied, but all classics in their own right. They got me thinking – what would be the garden design equivalent of those dance floor fillers? So here goes. A few planting suggestions with a musical influence.
First dance floor classic to be dropped – ‘Crazy in Love’ by Beyonce feat. Jay-Z. We need a plant that can sway. It must look good in front of a wind machine. Preferably one half of a power couple. I’m thinking a tall grass, elegant, strong with, ahem, movement. Lets go with Stipa gigantea, perhaps combined with a very cool looking late flowering perennial such as Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’.
The dance floor is full. Let’s give them more of what they want, but let’s do something quintessentially British. Let’s give them fun. Let’s give them cheeky. Let’s give them desperately trying to please. Its Dizzee time. How about a sunflower? That always brings a smile to kids’ faces. But what could you combine it with? I think that you have to be brave… Dizzee Rascal and Florence Welch brave. So lets combine it with a Cardoon – Cynara cardunculus. That’s not to say that I think that Florence Welch is purple and spiky, I just think they look good together.
Let’s move from the current to the classic. A soul legend. We need a bit of Stevie Wonder to keep the crowd going. It may be predictable, but our next track is ‘Superstition’. Funky, but never out of fashion. A plant which does angry, but does so with style and grace – Cotinus ‘Grace’. And lets combine it with another large shrub – Grisilinia littoralis.
Finally, to close our very short set, ‘I want you back’ by The Jackson Five. It’s got to be short. Its got to be cute. It’s got to be successful. And it’s got to hint that things aren’t going to end well. So, a daisy – Erigeron karvinskianus. It will die a death in winter, but its pretty little flowers will be back year after year.
Nigel is an award winning garden designer with studios in London and North Yorkshire. As founder of Medlar & Cob he uses modern, intelligent design to create timeless British gardens rooted in tradition. Take a look at his blog here here - medlarandcob.com/m. You can follow Nigel on twitter @medlarandcob. Read more posts by Nigel.