Color inspiration for the garden

By on June 18, 2018
Choosing colors for your home landscape is fun.  Think about your favorite colors and use them as a starting point. Pink and gold is one of my favorite color combinations. Photo by K. Gabalski

Choosing colors for your home landscape is fun. Think about your favorite colors and use them as a starting point. Pink and gold is one of my favorite color combinations. Photo by K. Gabalski

Picking a color scheme is one of the most important decisions when designing your home landscape. Deciding on a color scheme is fun, but there are more color options available in plants and flowers than ever before, and it can be overwhelming.  University of Florida Extension has some advice for what you should consider when choosing colors for your garden.

First of all, consider the color of your house and other landscape features. You might want your garden color scheme to blend with your house color, or you might want it to contrast. UF Extension advises that plant material located closer to the house benefits from the use of contrasting colors.

Another important factor is how your yard is used.  It you entertain frequently, bright saturated colors will help add energy to the party.  If your yard is a place to retreat and relax, serene, soothing colors are the best choice. The time of day and light conditions when your yard is used are also important to consider.  For evening and night use, light colors will stand out, while darker, brighter colors are better for the sun.

Color also reflects the style of your garden. Tropical gardens use bright, hot colors of red, orange and yellow; cottage gardens feature pastels and spring colors; a contemporary garden might feature unusual or metallic colors.

Always take into consideration your unique growing conditions and plant availability. Your color choices might be limited based on the plants which grow best in your yard and the availability of certain plants locally.

There are many places to find inspiration for garden color schemes. Most people have a favorite color or shades of color that they find appealing. Choosing colors that appeal to you will increase your enjoyment of your home landscape.

Many gardeners love to re-create a favorite vacation spot in their backyards, or are inspired by gardens they see while traveling. Color pallets can be taken from a favorite painting, fabric print or decorative object. Colors in a favorite piece of clothing can be inspiring. Visit art galleries, study paint chips, or visit home goods stores to see a variety of color combinations in a single location.

Garden magazines and books are great places to find inspiration. Photos of gardens that appeal to you will have a ready-made color pallet to copy. Botanical gardens and plant nurseries are also wonderful sources of inspiration. At botanical gardens, color combinations have been designed by professionals, and you can view different color combinations throughout the year. Plant nurseries and garden centers make it easy to gather plants in pots and try different arrangements until you find a combination that you like.

Finally, keep your eye open as you drive or walk through your community. Note the landscapes which catch your eye and determine what it is that you find appealing about the color scheme. Even if you don’t like bright saturated colors in your home decor or clothing, you may find you like them in the great outdoors where they will attract lots of attention.

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