Using hot colors in the landscape

Using hot colors in the landscape

Remembering the color wheel in art class, there is a whole section with my favorite colors of the hottest pink, neon orange and brightest yellow. Those colors just make you feel so great. Color can be exciting or soothing. In my mind, there is always a place outdoors for an area that looks like a party is ready to happen.

The Gardening Know How blog reminds us that plants have brightly colored flowers for more than just our pleasure. A lot of it has to do with flower pollination. Before flowers produce, they have to be pollinated. About 75 percent of flowers need a pollinator. Bees are the best-known pollinators. Bees and the other active pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to red, pinks, fuchsia and oranges. Along with aroma, it is bright, showy colors that attract pollinators to our plants.

A monochromatic color scheme of hot colors could include shades of one happy color like hot pink or brightest orange. But don’t be intimidated mixing colors from the bright part of the color wheel. Is there a true “wrong” with beautiful flower colors put together? Be brave and put orange and hot pink together just like those clothes from the ’70s that are so popular again.

The color wheel is your friend. If you look at the basic relationships between colors, the color wheel is the easiest way to explore what you want. The simplest option is to use analogous colors, or those colors next to one another on the color wheel. In the hot color area, red is next to purple and then orange and yellow. How about adding some additional bright color to the mix in your yard with brightly colored containers or a section of fence painted in fantastic color?

Just look at the showstopper celosia in the photos here. Other great options for fun colors outdoors are hibiscus, which can be found in hot pink, canary yellow, cherry red, tangerine orange, yummy salmon and crazy blends. Lantana is great in brightest oranges, reds, yellows and purples. How about a pop of wonderful zinnia color in outrageous shades of orange, pinks, acid yellow or crazy purple? Verbena is a good choice in the brightest yellow and orange combo. Angel’s trumpets would be an interesting addition to your “happy garden” with its pendulous bright yellow flowers. Leonitis with its bright orange colors will draw all the local hummingbirds.

Some other hot color favorites are Butterfly weed, which is a perennial to boot. Texas sage is available in pink and red. Agastache is one of my new favorites with its easy care bright purple blooms. If you are interested in reading a little more on using color in the garden, you may enjoy the classic reads “The Gardener’s Book of Colour” by Andrew Lawson or “The Garden Color Book” by Paul Williams.

Joette Reger is an avid gardener and prides  herself on staying up-to-date on the latest gardening activities and tips. She can be reached by e-mail at joreger [at] msn [dot] com and on Facebook at “Gardengate with Joette Reger.”