Show Your Garden’s True Colors

Lisa Spears

Adding color to our landscape is one of the main reasons we garden. Colors evoke emotion and symbolism. They can add drama, create impact, brighten up dark spots or create distance. It all depends how and where you use colorful plants.

Choosing color for your garden can be dicey, especially if you’ve never done it before. Here are a few tips to help you along.

  • monochromatic theme is easy to do, and a popular choice. This works well in small gardens. Choosing plants of the same hue allows you to work with the varying shades, textures and heights of plant material with the same color palette.
  • Create drama with hot, tropical hot colors. Orange and red can have a powerful effect if you have ample space to try it. Pride of Barbados with esperanza, or esperanza with magenta bougainvillea are striking combinations that are visible from a distance.
  • Go classic and formal with a mix of reds and grays. In most cases your garden will have a backdrop of green. Try red knockout roses with gray santolina or cotoneaster coupled with pink muhley grass.

Contrasting colors can create a very dramatic effect. Use these if you want your borders and beds to have real impact. Mix colors that are opposite each other, such as blue and orange or purple and yellow.

The colors you select help define the theme for your garden. Whatever your choice, make your garden your own.

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