Color palette for your garden

Color palette for your garden

I’ve walked through many a furniture store trying to find just that ‘right’ area rug to inspire the rest of the room.  Certain colors just make me happy and others bring me a sense of calm while others just don’t do a thing at all.   Your outdoor room can inspire you in just the same way.  Why would you want a yard that makes you snooze?  Choosing the colors that you find appealing when you are outdoors at your home are just as important as what you see inside.

Remember back in art class?  The teacher pulled out a color wheel and explained how colors work together.  Analogous colors are those located next to one another on the color wheel, like red with pink or blue with purple.  Monet’s water lilies paintings are colored this way.  These masterpieces bring a sense of harmony and peace.  Complimentary colors are opposite one another on the color wheel.  Using blue with orange makes us feel a sense of vibrancy, life and fun.  You can also group colors as ‘hot’ or ‘cool’.  The ‘palette’ that you create in your landscape sets the mood in a subtle way for the character of your home.

You may not want to be disciplined in the colors of flowers, vines and trees for your yard if you aren’t especially interested in a sense of order. Cluttered outdoor spaces are fine for some but a little order is easier to establish than you think if you want it. Maybe a row of shrubs separates one ‘room’ from the other, or a simple decorative fence.  Stick to color schemes and plant those colors in mass.  Forty bright yellow blooms go a lot further in the landscape than a hodgepodge of forty disparate little plants.  

I have tried to learn from the pros and develop a series of ‘rooms’ outside.  Each ‘room’ can have its own color scheme.  The styles of planting are similar but the colors change.  You can repeat a color in each area to give the eye something to move toward.  I’ve seen a gorgeous garden in Houston with a mass of pink blooming flowers, followed by a large group of blue blooms and then a group of white.  The pattern made it irresistible to walk from area to area.  

Some of my all time, long-lasting and easy care flowers give me joy when I see them planted in the yard.  The colors that I like this year are warm colors in big swaths like the gorgeous Orange Crossandra Marmalade (crossandrainfundibuliformis), Celosia in orange and yellow, brightest yellow Lantana Landmark (lantana camara) and Tiger Eye Rudbeckia.  What colors are you going to want outside this year?