Colour is such a personal experience. My feeling blue is your tickled pink. I crave the contrasts of acid green against black, the clash of dark pink with vermillion. You might screw your eyes up and mutter that you’re more of a pastels person. We’re both right, of course.

Sir Isaac Newton painted the first colour wheel as a way of mapping the colours shooting out of his sunlit glass prisms. Ever since, artists and scientists have been exploring how to trap the hues and densities of the natural world.

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I’m happy reading paint charts all day for their evocative names (Skylight, Hound Lemon, Dead Salmon, Mouse’s Back), but for when I want something deeper, I have two favourite books on colour.

The first, Colour By Design by Nori and Sandra Pope who created a whole colour-wheel garden at Hadspen, is my most-thumbed gardening book. It’s brilliant for planning seasons and eye-popping border combinations.

The second is a kind of colour memoir, written by Derek Jarman as his eyesight failed in the last stages of AIDS. Chroma covers paintings, old wives tales, childhood memories and history, and is beautifully written;

“The long sleep of Aristotle descended on the Middle Ages. Colour went on a crusade, and came back with strange heraldic names: Sable, Purpure, Tanne, Sanguine, Gules, Azure, Vert, on a host of fluttering flags.”

Wonderful stuff…

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