Cotinus ‘Grace’

Cotinus ‘Grace’ is a real jewel in the mixed border and I have had Echinacea purpurea (Cone Flower) planted in my home garden since last spring when I first planted the seedlings in the ground, placed in front of the Cotinus, the colour combination is absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been watching how the colours are unfolding in this area of my garden, what I call my ‘red bed’, by red I mean tones of.. such as claret, fuschia, deep and pale pinks. I love combining the colours of leaf, stems and flowers. I’ve also included a Weigela ‘Florida Variegata’, the leaf colouring in autumn is exquisite…

Coming soon: Planting plans to give you fabulous ideas for plant and colour combinations that will delight you across the year!


I was very taken by Beverley Nichols‘ book ‘Garden Open Today’ published in 1963. Writing about combining plants from within the same colour to bring out their vibrancy of tone. I can see how this, perhaps at first glance, may appear to be a one dimensional approach to planting, but the reality delivers a fullness, richness in tones and of colour. By combining tones from the one colour you can create beautiful depth that high-contrast planting doesn’t achieve.

I visited RHS Hyde Hall in the summer and they have an area of the garden that is divided into sections by yew hedging, each of which is planted with a single colour theme and to my eye it looks absolutely fantastic.

Coming soon: Planting plans to give you fabulous ideas for plant and colour combinations that will delight you across the year!

I deploy transitional colours to lead onto a different colour palette, so that if you are passionate about purple in your garden and you are stuck as to how to change the colour to another area, I suggest planting grasses for they make wonderful transition plants in both form and colour. Think of Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Foxtrot’ (Chinese Fountain Grass) absolutely lyrical in form, with those fine flower spikes that hint towards purple. Of course, you can always stabilise a colour with the use of an evergreen before adding the next… the possibilities are limitless, it’s painting with plants.

Botanical name: Cotinus ‘Grace’
Other names: Smoke bush ‘Grace’, Cotinus coggygria x dummeri Grace, Cotinus x dummeri ‘Grace’
Genus: Cotinus
Variety or cultivar: ‘Grace’ _ ‘Grace’ is a large deciduous shrub, with rounded leaves that emerge wine-red maturing to dusky-reddish-blue and then bright orange-red in autumn. Masses of large, deep pink panicles cover this shrub in early summer
Cotinus ‘Grace’ is: Deciduous
Flower: Pink in Summer
Foliage: Red, Yellow, Orange in Autumn
Fruit: Purple in Autumn
Habit: Bushy
Awards: RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)

If you would like to talk with me about a new planting scheme for your garden or a bespoke Dingly Dell, please do feel free to get in touch, my email is For gardening development and maintenance enquiries (North-East London, Essex, Hertfordshire and Enfield) please telephone 07818 005773.

Happy gardening!