Creating a Pastel Garden

A harmonious mix of columbines, foxgloves, alliums and perennial wallflowers lends a cottage-garden style to the landscape.
Many Springtime Bulbs Come in Pastel Colors

Many Springtime Bulbs Come in Pastel Colors

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Many of the bulbs and flowers of early summer come in pastel shades that can be easily combined to create a beautiful design. Striking alliums dotted through the border provide a touch of drama.

When to Plant: Autumn and early spring
At Their Best: Early summer
Time to Complete: 5 hours

Materials Needed:

  • shovel
  • bulb planter or slim trowel
  • foxglove
  • allium 'Purple Sensation'
  • columbine 'Nora Barlow'
  • wallflower 'Bowles's Mauve'

Choose a Well-Drained Site

Many bulbs and most of these plants suffer if left to sit in damp conditions over winter. If your soil is heavy, add plenty of well-composted organic matter to improve tilth and aeration.

Plant in the Garden

Plant the alliums in autumn and mark their positions with labels. In spring, plant the perennial wallflowers and the columbines around the alliums in drifts. Plant the tall foxgloves at the back.


Alliums have beautiful seedheads, so leave for as long as they look good. Columbines can be cut back after flowering to promote fresh growth. Alliums and columbines come up each year, foxgloves self-seed, but the wallflowers may need replacing after a few years.

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