Sunday 1 July 2012

I just love red things!

I guess you already know what this post is going to be about? Yes, the colour red! I suppose most people have a favourite colour, or some colours they prefer, and in the same way has colours they don’t like that much. I can’t stand lime green, but I like most other shades of green! But when it comes to red I have a special shade of red I really, really like. Not post-box red or tomato red, that doesn’t do it for me, but the dark red, crimson red, almost blackish-red – I think it is the most gorgeous colour!

And because I love this colour so much, I have surrounded myself with it, inside and outside :-) This is my favourite rose, ‘Crimson cascade’, and as the name hints, it’s actually a climber. I didn’t really have room for a climber in my garden, but I wanted it anyway so I have trained it up against a fence and prune it heavily every February to keep its shape. The rose flowers profusely most of the summer and autumn and I have some years had flowers all winter until I have cut it down, a bit sad to cut off flower buds but the pruning is absolutely necessary to keep it on a 5’ fence!

I think ‘Crimson cascade’ is at its best before the flowers have opened properly, the small buds are so dark red that they are almost black.

After being open for a while, the roses take on a darker and darker red colour before they eventually die.

Here is another rose, red when in bud but a bit more dark pink when fully opened. This is ‘Mildred Scheel’.

And this is yet another gorgeous rose, a bit fussy and doesn’t flower for that long, but all the more enjoyable when it does; ‘Rob Roy’.

I have other red flowers in my garden too, this is a lovely gerbera that keeps coming again, year after year.

And my red lilies have finally started to flower! This one is called 'Monte Negro'

'Monte Negro' is an Asian lily, sadly they have no scent, but the colour is spectacular.

It’s not just in my garden you can find the dark red colour, I have it indoors too! I moved into my house nearly 11 years ago, and my housing association had just renovated this house after the previous tenant had moved out. They  painted the whole house magnolia. OK if you like that, but I couldn’t wait to inject some colours here and there! The first room to get the red treatment was the kitchen, although it took a while to get the colour right, so the first time I painted it, the colour was too pinkish. What you see here is my second (and final!) attempt which I did in 2010. (click for a larger version of the pictures)

I say 2010, and it took me almost the whole of 2010 to do it, as I don’t do DIY at the same speed as most people do....I tend to paint a small piece of wall and then take a couple of days, or even weeks off and then paint another piece. Well, I get it done eventually! It took me 8 months to do up the kitchen, and I hate living in mess and paintbrushes and paint tins, so I always put everything away when I have finished for the day as I never know when I will be well enough to paint next time. That way it doesn’t matter so much that it might take some time to finish the job. I didn’t dare do the whole kitchen in such a dark colour, so one wall has white wall paper, with red painted wall lamp – and red photos (of course!) I stood in Asda (Wall Mart) and selected each of those red apples especially so that they would be perfect for these wall photographs :-) (sorry if you can’t see them properly, the light from the window was shining right on them, you can see these and other photos here ON MY WEBSITE.

But it’s not just my kitchen that has got the ‘red colour treatment’ is my bedroom, with a slightly lighter shade of dark red. The large, Victorian window lets in lots of light and illuminates the golden yellow colour on the walls. I tried out many different yellow colours on small patches before deciding in this room, and I was afraid that this yellow was going to be way too strong and overwhelming, but just as with red there are so many different shades of yellow and this one is a really gorgeous one, especially when the sun is shining on the walls. The colour is actually called ‘sunbeam’ (Dulux), and it is a happy colour to wake up to :-) Red and yellow together in the same room?? Sure you can, it works well here!

My cat likes to sleep here too, he occupies the foot end of the bed during the day and as you can see, he is immortalised on the wall too :-) By the way, my cat has his own section on my website (of course!), FIND IT HERE. Over the years I have collected red items to go with my bedroom, and my latest find was these red glass table lamps I found in Ikea, in a perfect colour for my bedroom!

The red and yellow-golden theme continues in my living room, although taking photographs here is almost impossible as it is such a small room. These Victorian properties have rooms so small you need to go outside to change your mind! I do sometimes miss the house I had in Norway before moving to London, the combined living room/dining room was bigger than the whole ground floor of my current house! Here I am actually standing taking this picture in the hallway, outside the living room, and the room isn’t much bigger than what you see, just a bit missing to the left and right. Instead of bright yellow walls I have opted for very pale yellow, and used golden-yellow curtains. There is a dark red rug (which you can’t see much of), and red cushions, throw, plant pots etc. I even have a red computer mouse which you might be able to see (if you click and get a larger version), on top of my laptop next to the sofa! OK, well I didn’t actually buy the mouse, it was given to me as a present, but it was a well chosen present :-)

And finally, my most recent red purchase. My new red shoes! OK, OK, I’ll stop now. But aren’t they gorgeous?? They are kind of two-tone red and dark red, in glossy patent. The best thing about them apart from the colour was the price, bought them on sale for £12.

It’s July, my garden is full of colourful flowers, and although many of them are in shades of red, I do have other colours too! Next time I am thinking of presenting you with my new roses, the 3 David Austin roses I bought in February. They have all started to flower now, so watch out for next post :-) Until then, take care.

PS! Have you noticed the background colour on my blog? Yes, my favourite colour here too ;-)


  1. I also love red! The walls in my dining room are cream on top with red on the bottom and the walls in another room are cream on top with a creamy yellow on the bottom! Even my garden clogs and watering can are red. It's one of my favorite colors. :o)

  2. Helene, I love your red love, and I share it. Love your blog, too (my first visit, and I'll be back). Ironically, just the other day, I placed red-painted bamboo canes against a tree to "support" it. This is the second tree to get an extra touch of red. All best.

    1. You are very welcome back to my garden :-)

  3. WOW! I thought for a moment I was looking at a stylish magazine of beautiful homes! Your decorating may take you a while but boy you're good at it. Might just slip computer under other halfs nose & see if he gets the hint! xx

    1. Thanks, I have always been interested in interior design, but it is of course just a hobby to me. If other half is not getting the hint you could perhaps do it yourself, it's almost as addictive as gardening!

  4. Your decor is beautiful, Helene. Of course, my favorite red of your post is 'Monte Negro.' I'll bet this lovely lily shines like a beacon in the garden. :-)

    1. Yes, Monte Negro is beautiful, but I have one even darker red lily called Blackout - they haven't done so well this year but were stunning last year if you can find my post 'red is the colour' from june last year.


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