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Cool Garden inspiration from Rosemoor

As Rosemoor celebrates its 30th year as an RHS Garden, an exciting new design is coming to life. The Cool Garden contains plenty of inspiring ideas for anyone who enjoys a calm and reflective space

The Cool Garden is a really exciting addition to Rosemoor. Designed by Chelsea veteran and multiple award winner Jo Thompson, it features flowers in calm and subtle colours; from pale yellows, blues and whites, to peaches and pinks, together with abundant grey foliage. 

Blue and white flowers create a visual link with the water, while number of plants are repeated – helping pull the beds together subconsciously in your eye as you gaze from the terrace.

Most plants here have flowers of pastel tones or white, such as the shining flowers of Shasta daisy Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Real Galaxy’, which combines well with silvery Phlomis fruticosa and yellow-flowered Hemerocallis ‘Lark Song’.

Shasta daisies are relatives of our native ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare); they flower later in the year and provide a useful resource for pollinating insects. The cultivar 'Sante', while not found in the Cool Garden, is also recommended for its delightful shaggy petals and the flowers' soft green centres.

Verdant, upright clumps of Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’ create contrast of colour and form within the planting. From late summer and into autumn, after flowering, they develop beautiful rust-orange tones. Along with other grasses such as variegated Calamagrostis × acutiflora 'Overdam' they add movement and texture, and the atmosphere is enhanced by the flow and sound of water as it moves through the garden.


A cultivated variety of silver birch was chosen for the garden for its slender form. Multiple Betula pendula Fastigiata Joes (‘Jolep 1’) have been planted; this cultivar makes a small neat tree that will provide structure as it matures.

In winter, the silver bark of the trunks will be a focal point. Attractive lime-green leaves in spring and summer along with buttery yellow autumn colour make this a truly multi-season tree.

Billowing ground cover helps soften the edges and creates a continuous mat of foliage and flower. Hardy geraniums do this particularly well Geranium 'Orion' was a new variety for Rosemoor with blue flowers which repeat all summer, along with the outstanding Geranium 'Rozanne'. Colourful blocks of Salvia nemorosa 'Amethyst' with its lilac-purple flower spires contrast well with Perovskia and Agastache.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.