How to use colour in your garden?

How to use colour in your garden?

Colour plays a hugely important part of making a garden. The right combination of colours can create a sense of tranquillity, or add excitement and vibrancy to a dull space. Using colour in your garden is easy to do once you know the principles, and it opens up a whole new way of putting plants together.


Using colour to create mood

Colours are often divided into ‘cool’ and ‘hot’ tones. Cool colours, such as blue, purple and green, are good for creating a restful, calm atmosphere, whereas hot colours like red, orange and yellow are ideal for stimulating, lively environments.

When you’re trying to decide what colours go well together in the garden, a colour wheel is just what you need. This fabulously simple tool helps you choose the right colours, whatever effect you’re going for. Colour wheels are available at art shops, and there are also plenty of examples online.

Harmonising colours, for example, pink and red, or blue and purple, are placed next to each other on the colour wheel. These colours sit easily together, creating natural-looking combinations with no strong contrasts.

Complementary colours, such as blue and orange, are located diagonally opposite each other on the colour wheel. The nifty thing about complementary colours is that, thanks to the science behind light wavelengths, putting them together makes both colours appear more vivid.  Complementary colours are ideal for adding a dash of spice to a planting scheme based on harmonising colours – so for example, orange Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ looks fabulous dotted through a combination of blue delphiniums and purple lavender.


Creating illusions with colour

Blue tones tend to recede, so painting a fence blue or having blue-themed planting towards the back of a garden is a useful trick to make space feel bigger. Red tones seem closer than they are, so a plant in a bright red pot will always catch the eye, making a great focal point. And to disguise a shed or some other garden structure, paint it dark green or even black and watch it disappear into the background.


Garden colour combinations

Combining these blue, purple and white flowers creates a cool, peaceful effect, with evergreen silver and green foliage keeping interest going through the winter months.

  • Lavandula ‘Hidcote’
  • Salvia ‘Amistad’
  • Leucanthemum ‘Snowcap’
  • Astelia ‘Silver Spear’
  • Buxus sempervirens

Mixing complementary colours purple and orange creates a dramatic garden colour scheme. This combination looks best in late summer, with the evergreen pittosporum and the dried flower heads of the sedum and grasses adding structure through winter.

  • Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’
  • Crocosmia ‘Emily McKenzie’
  • Dahlia ‘Sunshine’
  • Pittosporum ‘Tom Thumb’
  • Miscanthus ‘Kleine Silberspinne’

Using colour to create different effects in your garden is great fun and very satisfying. If you want some inspiration, visit our garden centre to see what’s in flower, and try out a few combinations for yourself. The possibilities are endless!

You might also be interested in:

Home trends: sustainability in interior design

It’s important to consider sustainability in interior design, as we all become far more aware of our environment and the need to live a life where we are responsible for everything we do that impacts our planet. This extends to inside the home as well as our gardens and outside spaces. When we design and decorate it is very important to think about all aspects inside our home and not just that it needs to be aesthetically pleasing but also good for the environment. Think about implementing the below into your interior design projects and you will be putting sustainability at the fore of your home. 

How to encourage late summer flowers?

It is easy to encourage late summer flowers for as long as possible, all year round, and whilst it can be a little more tricky during the cold winter months, there are definitely ways to extend the flowering season in your garden to as late in the year as possible. We’ve put together these ideas to help you encourage those last summer flowers to enjoy for as long as you can. 

Top vegetable growing tips for July

 ‘In July the sun is hot / Is it shining / No, it’s not!’ As musical comedy duo Flanders and Swann pointed out back in the sixties, the weather in July can be chancy, but nevertheless, it’s a great month for gardeners. The days are long, and you can start to really enjoy the fruits of your labours in the veg patch. To make this year your best harvest ever, here are a few tips on what to do now, as well as how to get the better of plant pests and diseases.

Garden plant of the moment: Anemone

Late in summer, as other flowers start to fade, Japanese anemones come into their own. With their elegant sculpted flowers on long graceful stems and their bold maple-like leaves, they’re an unmissable presence in the border well into autumn. Happiest in partial shade, they’re ideal for brightening up dull spots in the garden, and once they’re settled they’ll spread and come back year after year. Here’s how to make sure your Japanese anemones grow and flourish.