Bloody Beige Posted on January 31, 2011

It’s been going on too long. It’s too long since a fashionable dress shop dared to put any other colour in its window – except black. And now I read that every one of the six five-star hotels opening in London this spring is settling on beige and brown as its colour theme.

What are hotels doing in Trad’s Diary? Eyes are eyes. A sense of visual appropriateness and stimulus is basic (or should be) to us gardeners. Where are the chintzes, the mad Indian floral hyperboles that tell you it’s England?

Chintzes come from the Far East, it’s true, but then so did half our favourite garden plants. What if the passion for plain beige should invade our flower borders, too? Too late, I’m afraid – it already has. Grasses are doing to our borders what beige curtains on taupe walls are doing to our rooms: condemning them and us to the tedium of good taste.

Yesterday was our grand-daughter’s first birthday. Her friends came to tea – dressed, I was thrilled to see, like wildflowers in a meadow, medleys of pink and red and blue. How long must we wait until Prada and Armani and Nicole Fahri wake up to the full spectrum of colour, and our hoteliers rediscover the orient?

PS  I just walked up Bond Street to check on the colours, and in fairness I should add grey, sand, drab, slub, grunge, mud….. and of course many more shops.

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The International Dendrology Society (IDS)