Colors in the Garden – How to Use Garden Colors

Colors in the Garden - How to Use Garden ColorsFew things affect the overall look and feel of a garden and the house as the colors used therein. Great garden colors can help you create a psychedelic experience. Imagine the colors just leaping off the flowers! Naturally, it is also important to account for colors of the existing structures, walls or fences while planting the garden. Many people tend to forget these things and the results can be, simply put, disastrous. Imagine planting magenta roses in front of red or orange brick walls – certainly not a flattering effect.


Hence, homeowners need to take into account the textures, the plants as well as paints when planning their colors in the garden. Here I present a few tips to do so.

Tips for implementing garden colors

  • Plants are center stage when deciding on the colors in the garden, but garden colors also include existing features and structures like rocks, paving and other natural objects.
  • Take a walk around the garden or the entire neighborhood when starting your garden color project. This will help you see the entire picture. Note the colors of the earth and the sky as these too play a big role in the garden colors scheme.
  • Keep a color journal to inspire you. Like a garden? Take a picture and paste it in your journal. Find a lovely colored flower? Put that color in the journal and write about it.

Putting Together the Garden Color Palettes

So where do you start?

Before selecting your plants or paint colors, think about how certain colors make you feel. These colors in the garden will help set the tone, the mood and the feel of the entire garden or a section of the garden. Therefore, if you choose colors with which you feel a ‘connection’ then you are likelier to have a ‘happier garden’ and also bound to be more committed to it.
Some homeowners like to divide their gardens into 2 or more sections to add different color palettes to. But experts caution against doing this, because too many garden colors can make things difficult to handle and create an un-integrated picture. Hence, it is best to keep garden color palettes precise, simple and alert.


Here are some ideas you can use for implementing colors in the garden.

  • You can start by working with your existing features. If you already have structures in place, you can change your garden color scheme using a few cans of paints.
  • Conversely, if you have already painted your house, walls and fences and are about to begin planting, then choose flowers and flowering shrubs that are in contrast to the structures’ colors.
  • Neutral colors always work well. Use colors like black, brown, silver, tan, beige etc near existing plantings. Neutral colors help ‘avoid clashes’ especially behind flower beds having hot colors (hot colors are colors which make you think of the sun) like yellows, oranges and reds. Avoid white fences and walls though: While white goes great with all other colors it tends to be bright enough to draw attention away from the plants.
  • Contrasts– Dark and light contrasts in garden colors help create a flattering effect. For example, if you have pastel backgrounds, then plant dark colored flowers and vice a versa to capture attention.
  • Harmony– Similarly, harmonious colors ‘sing together’. Experts suggest choosing colors from the color wheel which are ‘8 or fewer’ wedges away from each other counting in the clockwise direction from the original color for creating harmony.

Some homeowners are filled with trepidation at the thought of selecting their garden colors; still others are like kids in candy stores who wish to buy everything. I hope these tips will help homeowners and gardeners select the best colors in the garden to create a mood of calm or excitement or just about anything one desires to achieve.


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