Exactly like smell and sound, colour has the power to induce a mood with the click of its fingers. It is one of the most important things to help, in strengthening the design of your garden. There is a lot of garden-design theory based around the colour wheel, which of course, is initially an artist’s tool. Colours are arranged in a circle, starting from red at the top through to; red-orange, orange, yellow-orange, yellow, yellow-green, green, blue-green, blue, blue-violet, violet, red-violet and back to red. When you choose a shade that you like on the wheel, you will find harmonious colours on either side. However, if you want to liven up the garden with some mismatched colours, the colour directly opposite, will contrast beautifully with your chosen shade.
Using colours cleverly in your garden can really help to change the perception of space. Ideal if you want to enlarge a small garden, or make a large garden more intimate. Bright pinks, oranges, yellows and reds are what are known as ‘hot’ colours. They grab your attention straight away as eye-catching and, this colour selection has the ability to make the flowers appear closer than they actually are. This is a great trick you can use if you have a large garden, and are looking to make it a little more enclosed and intimate. To create a calming and restful garden, ‘cool’ colours from the purple, pale pink and blue spectrum are perfect. This colour selection has the effect of being able to blur themselves into the background. A perfect little trick to make your small space feel and look bigger, but this isn’t to say you should opt for one or the other depending on your space. The great thing about using colours to re-size your garden is that it’s easily reversed – nothing is permanent!
If you’re not too arty and a little bit baffled by colour theory, then you just have to go for it and plant whatever you like! There’s no need to worry if it turns into colourful chaos, because thankfully, we have the saviour of white! White flowers and plants can separate clashing colours perfectly, or you can distribute a few white plants to set a cooler tone.
Unfortunately, you can’t control nature and often it takes the upper hand, so don’t be too disheartened when creating a colour scheme if things don’t all go to plan. More often than not, your plants will never precisely match the colour on the label or in the catalogue, and plants which are described as ‘summer- flowering’ have a wide scope of around four months to bloom at different times. If your chosen plants don’t flower together, it’s not the end of the world.
Whether you’re opting to grace your garden with a cool calming presence, using light pastel colours, or bringing invigoration and stimulation with bright vivid shades, using colours cleverly in your garden is the best way to make the most out of your space.