With Good Choices You Can Have Your Dream Garden. Part 4 Harness The Power of Color
Are you struggling with an awkward space? Did you inherit a messy design when you purchased your home? Does your garden miss the mark for your lifestyle? Maybe it requires too much maintenance for your schedule. If you answered yes to any of these, don't give up. The right changes can transform even the worst outdoor space into a dream garden. In this series you'll discover the key things it takes to transform a nightmare into a dream. You'll learn what to take into consideration and how to enhance the views from within, and beyond your garden. You'll get tips for creating a landscape that's colorful all year long (yes, even in the dead of winter), without overdoing it. In this 10 part series, we'll discuss the different points that professionals take into consideration to create the ideal landscape.
So stop stressing over your garden and start enjoying it!
PART FOUR: HARNESS THE POWER OF COLOR
• A landscape that is washed in color catches the eye and sends a pleasing message to the brain. Color sends visual cues not only to us, but also to birds and insect. Intensity and color affects all of us in one way or another, the entire world reacts to the language of color.
• Add Colors You Love
You may have a certain color preference within your garden. Some people like it hot with warm colors such as reds and yellows, while others prefer a pastel palette. Whatever your preference, use colors you love.
• Play With Color Tones
Once you have selected a color you like, play with the color tones within that palette. The Echinacea to the right has a pink/red center that fades to an orange with pink undertones. The pink/red color is the main color, but subtle undertones like orange and yellow take it to another level. You can play with plants that have different tones within the plant itself, or you
can incorporate different plants that have the same tones as one another. Subtle differences in tone can really make a big impact without being overpowering at the same time.
• Plant In Groups
Color is most effective when it is used in groups. You can have groupings of color throughout your garden. If you have too many different colors by themselves, the color gets lost and it looks more like confetti. Clusters of color will catch and retain the eye more than random bits of color throughout. It's ok to use lots of different colors, you just want to be sure that the colors in your garden are planted in groups and that they repeat throughout.
• Opposites Attract
Complimentary colors work together by creating contrast that adds interest to the garden. It can be contrasts in flower foliage as well as in leaf foliage. Don't forget, color isn't the only opposite you can have within your garden. Textures play a big roll in the garden itself. Contrasts within a garden keep it fresh and lively and keeps your eye moving through the garden because it knows there is more to see than just one glance can take in.
• Add A Splash Of Color
Add occasional splashes of vibrant colors such as reds and yellows. This adds a thriller role to that section of your garden. Don't overdo it though. Too much of a good thing is never good. If you put too many splashes of color, it will be overpowering and confusing. A few strong splashes of color here and there, be it a grouping of perennials, a shrub or a rose will give you the maximum impact without confusing or overpowering the eye.
• Repeat and Reuse
You can eliminate chaos by repeating and re-using colors and varieties. Here we repeat annuals in a front border, which get swapped out with the seasons. You can repeat colors as the annuals are here, or you can also repeat plants. You may have some coneflower in one section and again in another. You can use the same plant, as in our coneflower example, and repeat it somewhere else in a different color. You keep the harmonious flow while introducing variety and color. This shows thought and planning and is a good way to marry the different sections of your landscape while still keeping it interesting.
• Foliage is Your Friend
Don't forget that foliage can have a big impact on your color scheme as well. When you're planning your garden and thinking about plants, don't forget to take foliage color into consideration. Nature is cyclical. Some years your garden will look better than others...that's both the beauty - and frustration - of nature. It's NOT an exact science. Different hues of foliage from chartreuse to blue, peach to plum, can create a huge impact in your garden. It can fill in for those times when for whatever reason your garden isn't looking it's best. Foliage color adds a thrill and another dimension to your garden, and it keeps those plants interesting looking even when they're not in bloom.
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