How to Use Color in your Flower Garden – Pinetree Garden Seeds


When it comes to gardening, showing off the beautiful blooms and colors around your house is the most rewarding part! Many people simply plant what they like with no particular design in mind, while others use basic color theory to plan their garden. There is no right or wrong way, only personal taste. We’ve compiled some tips on using color, if you want to have a specific theme or look.

There are many different types of color combinations that you can utilize to create a desired effect. We’ll use the basic color wheel to illustrate some of these terms.


Harmonious colors are those that are next to each other on the color wheel. These colors compliment each other softly without being overbearing.
Complementary colors are those that are opposite from each other on the color wheel. These colors are high in contrast and add nice drama to your garden.
Monochromatic colors are those that are all in the same color family, just in different tones or shades.

White flowers are a universal addition to any garden. They can be used by themselves or as a divider between plant colors that do not work well together.
Warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows) are primarily used to make gardens appear closer than they really are.
Cool colors (blue, violet, silver) make your plants appear farther away than they really are.

Yellow & Purple: Dramatic

White & Green: Light, restful

Red & Yellow: Bold

Orange & Purple: Energetic

Pink & Blue: Very commonly seen, readily available

White & Blue: Light, cheerful

Blue & Purple: Good combo for shade with light background

Green: Restful for the eye. Helps prevent garden from being too dominating to the eye


A few tips regarding choosing your color scheme and color placement:

– Pulling colors from your house (trim, door or siding colors) can sometimes help pull a yard together very nicely.
– Be sure to take into consideration the different times of day when planning your garden, as well as the amount of sunshine that each area will receive, as sunshine and shade affect growth as well as the way colors look.
– Brighten shaded areas by using light colored plants (light pink, light yellow, lavender, pale blue or white). Dark plants can disappear into the shade. If you decide to plant dark color plants in a shaded area, just be sure to surround them with light colored plants to prevent them from getting lost.
– For areas with full sun, use flowers that are very bright and saturated in color. Avoid light colors and pastels, as they’ll tend to look washed out under the sun.
– Try to stick to 2-3 colors to avoid clashing. In general, repeating the same colors (in different shades or tones) will give your garden a nice look of unity.
– Use plenty of texture in the greens you select to fill in. If you select all the same ground cover, you’ll find your eye gets lost. Use texture to break up the patterns.
– Don’t be afraid to break the rules! You want your garden to reflect who you are, so give it the same amount of personality that you would give anything else in your yard. Have fun with it!


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