Shape, texture and color are the foundation of a beautiful garden – and color is often the most eye-catching part. Placing some thought about the color of your garden and how it compliments your property can help create a magnificent landscape. With a multitude of colored flowers and plants to choose from ranging from bright magentas to soft lavenders, deep yellows and more, it can be difficult to know where to start. Below is some information about garden color techniques:
The Color Wheel
Color theory can be a great help in planning a garden. Let’s start with the basics! The color wheel is made up of 3 primary colors (red, yellow & blue) which are mixed together to create 3 secondary colors (orange, green and purple). When a primary color and secondary color are combined, a tertiary color is formed. Tertiary colors can be mixed with secondary colors and so on, to create an infinite amount of color combinations which make up the majority of colors found in most gardens . While most color wheels only display a limited number of colors, it is a useful tool for defining the relationships between colors so that you can plan an artful masterpiece. View this color wheel diagram and techniques for combining colors for further explanation.
A monochromatic color scheme uses varying shades of one color throughout the garden, such as flowers and shrubs in different hues of purple. This is an excellent approach for beginners new to color-planning. When using different shades of one color, try to add variety to your garden by choosing plants with a multitude of shapes and textures.
Contrasting colors, are two colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel such as yellow and purple. A contrasting color garden scheme provides a great ‘pop’ of color that can liven up the landscape. To avoid using too much contrast, choose one color as the main focal point, with the other color used to accentuate certain areas of the garden.
This color scheme can also be applied to your garden by contrasting warm and cool tones. Cool toned plants (blue, green & purple) add depth and the illusion of more space when planted towards the back of the garden. Planting warm tones at the front of the garden creates a strong focal point.