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Home Garden Colour Schemes
Garden Color Schemes PDF Print E-mail

Knowing a few principles, your flower garden ideas can be like Monet's. It's really no more difficult than coordinating the clothes you choose to put on every morning.

First, you should understand what colors you'll want in order to achieve the goals that you specified in the above section on why have a garden.

What is your personal color scheme?

  • If you want a cutting flower garden for bouquets for your home, you’ll want to choose colors that will enhance the interior of your home.
  • If you want a beautiful space to delight friends who visit or any who pass by your home, you’ll want to augment the exterior color of your home – just as you choose the colors of your clothes to highlight your eyes and skin tone.
  • For those of you who want to come home to a flower garden that soothes you after a stressful day, the soft cool colors such as blues, greens, pinks, purples and whites will set the tone for a garden oasis. A monochromatic color scheme which uses only one color throughout the garden is very restful.
  • If the flower garden ideas you’re hoping to create are of energy and excitement, warm intense colors like bright reds, oranges and yellows will wake up even the most sedate gardens. Complimentary color schemes using opposite colors on the color wheel are the most lively.
  • If you’d like to recreate a happy childhood memory or a dream vacation you’ve had, you’ll want to choose the colors and plants that were part of that experience.
  • Perhaps you’re crazy about a particular color. You can use that as the foundation for your scheme and choose other colors to harmonize with it.

Color Combinations

So how do you find out what color combinations work best before you spend an arm and a leg on plants (Excuse me, sometimes these old Midwestern sayings sneak in.)

You do it just the way you would take fabric swatches at a furniture store and lay them out together in various arrangements to coordinate colors for your living room furniture. Set potted flowers together on the ground in the garden center and play around with the different combinations.

If you're wondering what colors will enhance the exterior of your home, you can take various colored swatches of fabric and set them out where your planting beds will be.

This is helpful because you'll get to see how the colors look in your light conditions. Since color is reflected light, sunlight will affect the quality of colors:

  • Bright warm colors stand up to areas of intense sunlight.
  • Pastel, cool colors make dappled sun or deep shade areas look stunning.

The time of day will have an effect on your flower garden's color because the quality of light changes. It would be a shame to let your plants show off at their finest when no one can see them...

...like talented actors who only get to practice Shakespeare in front of their mirrors.

So, if you're only in your garden at a certain time of day, plan accordingly:

  • Early morning gardens – pastels, silvers and whites
  • High noon gardens – bright warm colors of reds, oranges and yellows
  • Twilight – blues
  • After dark – pastels, silvers and whites again

And last, but not least, is the color green.

Greens make up the largest proportion of color in your garden because plants mostly consist of foliage. These greens come in many shades. For instance, there's the silvery green of fuzzy lamb's ears. Then there are the blue-greens like that of the blue spruce.

Foliage can also come in other colors and can add life, especially at times of the year when many flowers aren't blooming. Take phormium tenax 'Rubrum' a grass with sword-like leaves that are chocolate purple, for example.

Speaking of blooming times, be sure to consider the blooming times of plants when coordinating your colors.

Don't fall prey to the pretty pictures you find in plant catalogues; they are notorious for showing plant combinations that, in reality, would never bloom at the same time.

Continue on to decide what players to cast in your garden...