Colour can evoke memories and feelings.   It is thought that many of our colour associations are attached to our childhood.  It is important to consider what colour you want your gardens. A fun way to explore colour and discover your personal favorites, is to ask yourself a few questions like:  What colour of flowers would you choose in a flower shop?  How would you describe yourself: calm, cheerful, outgoing?  What colours do you have inside your home? Have you surrounded yourself with your favorite colours?

You can start by deciding what colours you find pleasing to look at.  Colours can create feelings.  The warm shades of reds, yellows and oranges are energizing while the cool colours of blues, greens and purples are relaxing colours.

Take a look at these descriptive words…see how they induce certain feelings.

Red:  Energy, strength, passion.                                                     Orange:   Fun, and Joyfulness.

Pink:  Compassion, nurturing and tenderness.                               Yellow:  the colour of sunshine!  Cheerfulness.

Green:  the colour of Nature, Growth and Freshness.                     Blue:  Stability, Calmness.

Purple:  Luxury, Creativity.                                                           White:  Purity, Cleanliness.

Black:  Formal, Elegant.

Then it is important to by aware of how colour works in design and how you can enjoy your favorite colours in your garden.

When choosing plant combinations for a garden, designers consider the colour and form of the plant flowers and foliage.  A colour wheel can demonstrate how to use colour to create an overall pleasing visual of the garden.

Harmonious Colour Combinations

Monochromatic Colour Scheme:  This garden has variations of the same colour.  The look is simple, elegant and pleasing.  Consider adding a plant with bicoloured flowers to add a touch of interest.

Analogous Colour Scheme:  Use two to three colours that are side by side on the colour wheel.  This creates an excellent match that is harmonious without vibrant effects and provides easy transitional views.

Contrasting Colour Combinations

Complementary Colour Scheme:  Use colours straight across on the wheel.  This provides a strong visual cue and can create a focal point.  Using this colour scheme creates the maximum colour contrast.

Polychromatic Colour Scheme:  This is using every colour together.  This requires a good plan and some experimenting to ensure it is working well.

Triadic Colour Scheme:  Using colours that are evenly spaced around the wheel.  This creates a vibrant effect.

These guidelines are just options to help make planning  your garden easier. Your garden has to be a reflection of what you like, so don’t feel you have to follow the rules. The main point is to:  Have fun with colour in your garden!

By: Shirley Edwards