Colour your garden
Adding colour to our lives is often why we garden in the first place. Colour can excite and stimulate, can soothe and refresh. Perhaps most importantly, the colours of our garden are a reflection of who we are.
Warm yellows, oranges and reds excite and give a sense of exuberance and exhilaration. These colours magnificently highlight a distant view, accenting even the furthest reaches of the garden.
Cool blues, greens, purples and pinks calm and reassure us, blending peacefully into the landscape and enveloping us with composure.
White, the most versatile colour of all, blends other colours and lightens the garden. Whites tie together garden areas, soften strong colours and lead the gaze from one area to another. Pale colours such as pastel pinks and yellows brighten and accent dark corners of the garden or shady retreats.
Dark colours such as maroons and plums make their strongest impact when used in full sun, although they will add beautiful emphasis to darker areas when set off with white or silver.
When planning your colours, consider some of these combinations and then let your imagination go:
- Pure deep blue with soft, clear yellow
- Scarlet clear pale blue with clear pale rose-pink
- Creamy white, blue-white or pale yellow, deep red-purple with pale tints of same
- Cream-white or pale yellow, flame pink with cold gray-blue and creamy white
- Pure orange with brown and bronze, pure yellow with soft gray-blue or creamy white.
Monochromatic gardens emphasize a single colour with flowers and foliage of various tints and shades of that colour. These gardens might include pale lemon, gold and orange; sky, indigo, violet and purple; scarlet, pale pink and cardinal. Although the emphasis is on one colour, not everything is the same colour, but rather shades that reflect the original colour. In fact, even an all-white garden is best emphasized with shades of silver, cream and pale yellow to set off the whites.
Complementary themes such as mauve - pink - blue or yellow - orange - brown are soothing. Be sure to toss in something of contrast for interest and tie the colours together with white and gray. Extreme contrasts such as yellow and purple or red and blue can be quite dramatic and exciting. Again, tie them to each other with cream or silver.
The ultimate polychromatic garden includes all colours. A riot of colours is exuberant, especially if you use white and silver to tie the garden together and to ease the intensity.
Use gray, gray-blue and blue in the distance to give a hazy ambiance and make garden look like it goes on forever. Colour is a superb way to complement other elements in the garden such as the house, a fence or a planter. For example, a gray weathered fence is a spectacular backdrop for peach and salmon foxgloves and delphiniums. A red brick patio cries to be adorned with silver and white mealycup sage and fragrant flowering tobacco. A white windowpane trellis or white picket fence is exquisite when draped with creamy peach sweet peas and periwinkle blue morning glories.
© National Garden Bureau, Inc.