Choosing Colors for your Garden

When planning your outdoor living, how do you decide what color your flowers should be? There are many schools of thought when it comes to this decision. Here are my guidelines for choosing what colors to incorporate into a design.

One of the most natural ways to combine colors in the garden is to choose complementary colors. We’ve all seen a color wheel – and complementary colors are the ones that are across from each other. So, red is across from green, orange is across from blue, and yellow is across from purple.

However, the color wheel will only take you so far. It is a bit limiting. For example, red, white, and blue play very nicely together and look pretty without seeming like they were for a patriotic theme.

You can also choose warm colors or cool colors for your plants. Warm colors are red, orange, and yellow. But be careful with yellow. There are so many different shades – a very light butter to a rich orangey yellow – that it can be difficult to incorporate. The lighter shades are more neutral. The fuller shades can be brassy. The cool colors are blue, purple, and pink. Green is also considered a neutral.

Including white flowers in your design can help your other colors pop.

Jewel tones are the really rich vibrant colors – scarlet, deep purple, and sapphire blue. Or, some choose to go the opposite. Pastels are softer colors – the butter yellow, light pink, light blue, or soft purple.

Recently, using pink and orange together has been very popular. You would think those colors might clash. But in actuality, they are both so bright that when they play well together, they seem to vibrate when your eye hits them. Adding purple into the mix can help them play well together.

The most basic tip when it comes to choosing color is this: when you find a mix that works, it just looks right. But if you look at your colors and feel that something is off, you are probably right.