Read these 26 Colors in landscape Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Lawn tips and hundreds of other topics.
White gardens are most effective when they are comprised of green and grey leaved plants that serve to offset white flowers or plants with variegated foliage. In a white garden, contrasting foliage textures are important to provide interest in green areas. Garden structures in the form of walls, fences, or hedges are also important in order to frame a scene or provide a background for white blooms.
Colors can influence perspective when viewing the garden from a distance. Cool colors, such as blue forget-me-nots ( Brunnera macrophylla ) and green hosta ( Hosta ) recede into a landscape while hot colors, such as pink geraniums ( Pelargonium ) and red flowered cannas ( Canna ) come forward into a scene.
For many gardeners, planting the biggest, brightest blooms they can find is the main point of gardening, but this isn't a good idea. You should try to break up the color somewhat by choosing colors in the same family such as pink and red. Look at a color wheel to get some ideas. Or you can limit your palette to three to four colors with one of those colors being a neutral such as white or gray. Don't forget to consider the background your plants will be appearing against.
Bright colors such as yellow, orange, and red in a garden can jump out at you. While they can make a distant garden come forward, they can also make a small garden feel smaller, so use them with some caution. If you have a narrow bed or yard, yellow or red plants placed at the corners can square it up.
If you are looking for the color “black” for your garden there are plants available that are actually deep purple or deep burgundy, but can appear as black! Amongst these are sweet potato vine ( Pomona batatus Blackie ), chocolate cosmos ( Cosmos astrosanguineus ), fountain grass ( Pennisetum setaceum Rubrum ), Dark Opal basil ( Ocimum Dark Opal ), Iris Ruby Chimes , smoke bush ( Cotinus coggygria Royal Purple ), Penstemon digitalis Tulipa Black Parrot Viola tricolor Bowles Black , and black bachelor s buttons ( Centaruea cyanus Black Ball
For a great effect in a garden, place dark-foliaged plants with others that share a common pigment. Here harmony, rather than contrast is the theme. Since dark foliage is as varied as any other, first determine what pigment you're dealing with---for example, if it tends to be blue, cerise or brown/green, choose companion plants that share this pigmentation. Deep pink roses or rhododedron blooms can share the warm tones of the crimson foliage o a Japanese maple or the dark purple foliage of a smoke tree can highlight the fragrant mauve flowers of a dwarf lilac and, later, the velvety purple flowers of Clematis viticella.
Strong, vivid, contrasting colors create an exciting, busy landscape making your eyes jump from one color to the next. Bright colors planted everywhere though are not effective attention getters. Using red in your garden can draw immediate attention -- it will be the color that your eye sees first. Bright red flowers planted near the front door will draw the attention of visitors and guide them to the door.
Dark or deep colors tend to recede into the background of darkish foliage, though if you viewed them up close, they are often quite beautiful. But for garden effect, especially at some distance from the observer, brighter and lighter colors will give a cheerful air to the border. Blues and purples—though not the pastel shades, are receding colors and are best used close to and against light colored walls and can be quite effective.
Colors can also be used to create repetition or a theme in a garden or set a mood.
If you want to create a tranquil mood on your landscape, design your garden with pastel or weak colors…this color scheme may seem rather monotonous but it will create a restful feeling.
Colors in a garden have an enormous impact on perspective, just as in art. Pale colors tend to recede. The use of blue especially, makes a garden feel serene. If you plant a drift of blue flowers at the back of a bed, you can make the bed appear deeper than it actually is. White and pale pink can brighten up shady areas, bringing the corners of beds forward.
Color is the most visible factor in a landscape. The average person barely notices how an outdoor space functions, but is usually very attracted to the color in the landscape. But, remember, color is only one element among many to be considered to create a balanced, harmonious and functional landscape. Use color in a disciplined and controlled fashion to strengthen, rather than disrupt, the general form and pattern of garden and street. Color can add visual excitement in the landscape, but if used improperly, it can create chaos.
It is a good idea to keep color related when designing a border. Warm reds go best with oranges, yellow-oranges, and yellows; the scarlets and vermillions and the coral pink and flesh pink also relate to these warm shades. The cool reds--magenta, crimson, bluish pinks--work better with white, lavender, blues and purples. The background against which flowers will be seen should also be considered. (Orange-red brick walls would not be a suitable background for magenta and cool reds, orchid and bright purplish flowers)
The color “green” in a landscape may be taken for granted, but green acts as a background to all outdoor colors and it can also provide a stabilizing factor to the landscape's overall design. Green can be used to tie a design together even when many different hues are visible. Using green as the only hue in a design has merit. Many exquisite gardens have been designed with the only color interest being the various shades of green. This treatment tends to emphasize the textures and forms of materials.
White and ivory colors in a garden do much to pull together and knit color compositions into either exciting or serene effects.
All white gardens provide a crisp clean color that shows up well at night and can also be used to line up dark paths. If you are at a job all day and only come home at night, you may appreciate an all white garden!
Color contrast can be used in a number of ways in a garden setting: it can emphasize the plant's role as an important specimen, or distract a less desirable feature on the landscape such as a compost pile or utility area, or even draw focus into a garden space that has a less than pleasing environment beyond—like buildings or a busy street.
Color experts may not agree on which colors produce which emotional responses, but they do agree that colors can affect emotions. Examples: it has been said that pink has a calming effect and red causes excitement.
Blue is supposed to be calming because it reminds people of water.
Green is refreshing because it brings thoughts of nature.
A large bed of white tulips can make a small yard look larger...A smattering of naturalized yellow narcissi can make a barren bit of property look like a natural wonder. Eye-catching yellows and reds appear closer to the eye than they are, but cool blues appear further away. Blue along the borders can make a small yard appear larger than it is.
To provide relief from the dreariness of winter, one idea is to accentuate those qualities of plants that are more visible because of their bareness in winter. Plants with green or red twigs, trees with colorful exfoliating bark, fruits that persist through winter or plants with late-winter or very early spring blooms all brighten the winter landscape. Many perennials also provide much-longed-for color in winter. The plumes of ornamental grasses and the bronze, winter foliage of many stems and seed heads persist in winter and provide an array of golden browns, rusts and yellows.
Some evergreens take on a different hue in winter. Some junipers, greenish silver or bluish silver in summer, may have tones in winter ranging from pinkish to purplish, adding a sense of gaiety to the winter landscape. Not all junipers change of course, but according to variety this can be a welcome change when winter comes and spring seems far behind.
For ALL greens in a garden, you might experiment by taking leaves from a number of plants and creating your own color wheel. This will give you some idea of the variation between greens and give you ideas on how to play up these contrasts. Finally, don't ignore leaf shape and plant structure: A green garden gains much from the use of a variety of textures and shapes to keep it interesting.
Green gardens can be the most difficult to put together but the most rewarding to look at. Keep in mind that there are practically as many shades of green as there are plants. You can choose from the grey green of lamb's ears ( Stachys byzantina ), the acid green of spurge ( Euphorbia polychroma ), and of course the hundreds of variegated choices. When it comes to variegated plants, choose selectively as too many of these can take away from the sense of surprise they provide.
Contrast can be used to help organize color schemes where each plant can enhance and flatter it's companions. Most successful contrasts are complimentary - that is, roughly opposite on the color wheel. An example would be when a purple smoke tree with it's rich dark purple foliage is underplanted with acid-green lady's-mantle…here, both partners benefit: each appears more vivid and attractive because purple and yellow-green are nearly opposite each other on the color wheel.
Color contrast can also be used to punctuate plantings in a larger context. An example would be: Purple-leafed barberries or sand cherries placed at regular intervals along a perennial or shrub border—they provide rhythm and form to otherwise informal plantings.
In a large garden, wide palette of colors can be used at your discretion. However, just as in a smaller garden, you might want to stick with a few colors or some signature plants such as groundcovers that will unify your diverse plantings. You may choose to plant each area in a particular palette that complements its sun and light characteristics: for instance, grey leaved plants and brightly colored flowers in a sunny exposure; dark green and paler colored flowers in shadier areas. These could then be tied together using signature plants or by gradually transitioning the color scheme where two areas meet.