Pleasing Color Schemes

When we consistently plant the colors we like, it usually happens that the color scheme pleases us overall.

Colorful flower garden.

Photo: James Long (flickr)

Colorful flower garden.

As I look at my fall garden I see masses of pinks and purples with interjections of bright yellow. There are pink mallows, pink and purple and lavender asters and yellow golden rod, helianthus and chrysanthemums. I didn’t plan this color scheme but it has turned out just fine.

When we consistently plant the colors we like it, usually happens that the color scheme pleases us overall. Since I like a cool palette of pinks, blues, purples and whites, I tend to select plants with blooms of these shades. And, of course, yellow is a swing color because it looks good with either cool or hot color schemes.

Anyway, one really can’t avoid having yellow in a flower garden as so many of our most stalwart bloomers are yellow: daffodils, day lilies, sun flowers, black eyed-susans, to name just a few. Yellow is inevitable in a garden, and it makes other colors pop. It also looks good as an accent color with nearly any house color.

Yellows of any shade are versatile and collaborative, unlike the color red. If your home has red shutters or a red roof, for example, you need to be quite careful about the shades of red that you include in your garden. When you are planning a color scheme for your garden, always consider the color of your home, as well as the foliage of your trees and shrubs. If used well, color is an integrating variable that creates a feeling of harmony in the entire landscape.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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