Updated: Nov 10, 2020
Colour in the garden comes in all shapes and sizes. From flowers to foliage, from pots to mulch and even from the types of hardscaping we choose, such as pavers and stones. While selecting the right colour palette takes careful planning and practiced skill, there are a few simple tips you can follow to ensure your garden maximises the use of colour.
Keep it simple.
When choosing colours schemes in the garden, keep it to a maximum 3 different complementary colours to ensure you achieve a uniform look throughout the garden.
Setting the right mood
Colour plays a huge part in how we feel when we are in our gardens, so be sure to select the right palette for the mood you are trying to set. Cool colours such as whites, blues, silvers, and pale pastels, will provide your space with a relaxed feel, while warm colours such as reds, oranges, yellows, bright purples, and pinks, will make you feel active and alive!
Colour is a powerful way to add contrast (opposing features such as light and dark, bright and cool) to your garden. Use plants with flowers that provide opposite colours on the colour wheel, such as purples & yellows, reds & greens and blues & oranges. Foliage colour is also another great way to add contrast. Try selecting plants with a mix of greens or even silvery foliage, rather than planting plants that are all the same tone. Don't forget that the non-living elements you add to the garden will also have an impact on the overall design. Consider how the colour of mulch will look against other elements, pick pots that are uniform in colour and that contrast well against the plants they are to house and use pops of bright colours to create focal points within your garden space.
Complimenting with colour
Use the existing hard surfaces in and around your garden to help find colours that will compliment your space and tie them into your garden. For example, if your house is clad in white or light greys, choose pots of a similar colour to connect your home to your garden. The same goes for other main structures such as fences. Take this colour and carefully incorporate it throughout the garden. Be careful though when placing elements such as pots and plants directly in front of these structures, as colours that are too similar will get lost and fade into the background. In this case, contrasting colours are better choices.
Finding inspiration & planning
Sometimes the choice of colours can be overwhelming when designing a garden. Taking the time to plan by scrolling the internet for images of colour schemes that you like. Use apps such as Google Images and Pinterest and flick through some home and garden magazines until you have a palette that you can work with. Once you have picked the scheme, stick to it and don't get swayed by other pretty colours when browsing the nursery!
If it all becomes too much to handle, seek the help of a garden design professional to help you select the colour scheme that is right for you and to ensure your garden design creates a harmonious and unified effect.