Till startsida

Doctor of Beautiful Flowerbeds

News: May 25, 2009

What colours make a garden beautiful? What colours match and what colours clash? How can a flowerbed be planned based on scientific colour theory? Researcher Nina Nilsson is finding the answers to these questions. She is the first person in the world to earn a doctorate in the colour composition of flowerbeds.

The colours of plants have fascinated mankind for thousands of years. The colour of a plant not only tells what kind of plant it is, colours are also linked to emotions and memories. Plant colours can therefore be thought of in a biological, a cultural and an esthetical perspective.

Unique study

Colour is a foundation of horticulture, and is probably the strongest determinant of how a flowerbed or a garden is perceived. Yet, few scientific studies have focused on the colour composition of flowerbeds - until now.

First in the world

Nina Nilsson, Faculty Subjects Coordinator for Conservation, Gardening and Garden Design, the Department of Conservation/Dacapo at the University of Gothenburg, is probably the first person in the world to conduct scientific research on colour composition of flowerbeds. She bases her research on two standard works: UK gardening pioneer Gertrude Jekyll's book 'Colour Schemes for the Flower Garden', which remains a best-seller almost 100 years after first being published, and Swiss Johannes Itten's 'Kunst der Farbe', which established 'Itten's colour theory'.

Harmony and beauty

By applying Itten's colour theory on Jekyll's planting design schemes, Nilsson is attempting to scientifically document the principles that bring harmony and beauty to a flowerbed. Nilsson has tested the theories by for example analysing the colour compositions of a number of flower borders in the Gothenburg area. 'My research has a pedagogical purpose. I want my work to provide guidance on how to choose and arrange flowers in a garden', says Nilsson.

Gardening conference

Nilsson's experience of gardening and garden design is quite extensive, and she has also worked with biotope studies and park design. In addition, she has been compiling what she calls 'the gardener's knowledge portfolio'. Nilsson will present some findings from her research at an international gardening conference in Bologna in June.

Contact:
Nina Nilsson, researcher at the Department of Conservation at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
46-(0)501-75 57 92
46-(0)767-80 30 62
 

BY:
+46 (0)31 786 49 12

Contact Information

Carina Eliasson, Communications Officer

Visiting Address:
Guldhedsgatan 5 A

Phone:
+ 46 31 786 98 73

Fax:
031-786 4839

Note of clarification

In case of doubt or confusion, the Swedish version of this press release takes precedence.

To the top

© University of Gothenburg, Sweden, Box 100, S-405 30 Gothenburg
Phone +46 31-786 0000, Contact

About the website | Map