Garden Color 101

GARDEN COLOR 101

One of the best things about gardening is the lack of rules. That’s especially true when it comes to color – anything goes! In the garden, there are as many different ways to use color as there are gardeners. Flower and foliage colors can be chosen to complement the exterior of a house. Colors can be used to make a creative statement, or to create a mood that’s exciting, soothing or somewhere in between. More often than not, we simply choose colors that we like.

“There may be no rules about how to use color in the garden, but knowing a little about how our eyes see color makes it much easier to select combinations that will be pleasing to the eye,” says Marlene Thompson, creative director at Longfield Gardens. A color wheel is a great tool for understanding the relationships between different colors.

In a color wheel, colors appear in the same order as they do when light passes through a prism and is split into a rainbow. Here are three ways you can us a color wheel to suggest appealing color combinations.  Experimenting with the three color harmonies below – analogous, complementary and monochromatic – is a great way to discover color combinations that appeal to your creative eye.

ANALOGOUS COLORS

Colors that are located adjacent to each other on the color wheel are called analogous colors. This combination can include either two or three colors, such yellow and yellow-orange, or red, violet and purple. Analogous colors always work well together and create visual harmony.

Some examples are:

Dahlia Assorted Cactus & Decorative Sunset Mix

Dahlia Cactus & Decorative Sunset Mix

Anemone Mixed Blanda

Anemone Mixed Blanda

Canna Short Mix

Canna Short Mix

COMPLEMENTARY COLORS

Complementary colors are positioned directly opposite from each other on the color wheel. When two complementary colors are combined, they create visual tension because they are so completely different from each other. Complementary color pairs include yellow and purple, orange and blue, and red and green. Using complementary colors in the garden conveys boldness, energy and excitement. Complementary colors add depth and create a strong visual element in the landscape.

Some examples are:

Crocus Romance / Ruby Giant

Crocus Romance / Ruby Giant

Gladiolus Espresso/Fiorentina

Gladiolus Espresso/Fiorentina

Complementary Colors Example

Complementary Colors Example

MONOCHROMATIC COLORS

Monochromatic Colors are lighter or darker hues of the same color, such as red, rose and pink, or navy, cobalt and sky blue. Using monochromatic colors in the garden is soothing to the eye and creates a sense of calm. It’s best used in mass plantings and looks great in annual displays. Some examples are:

Dahlia Assorted Pink Decorative & Ball Blend

Dahlia Pink Decorative & Ball Blend

Hyacinth Shades of Blue

Hyacinth Shades of Blue

Dahlia Waterlily Priceless Pink/Serkan

Dahlia Waterlily Priceless Pink/Serkan

About Longfield Gardens:

Longfield Gardens is one of America’s top importers of quality flower bulbs. Longfield’s mission is to bring bulb gardening into every home, offer common sense planting information and stretch your dollar by offering competitive prices that are transparent. This simple approach to selling bulbs saves their customers time and money while increasing gardening success. Longfield Gardens carries an impressive selection of spring-planted, fall-planted and winter product lines, as well as information and inspiration. For more information, visit the website at http://www.longfield-gardens.com or visit the blog at blog.longfield-gardens.com.

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