This page gives you some information on the common colours and how they can be used in your garden design plan.
Using Red in the Garden
Red has the power to advance and appears to make a space smaller, creating an atmosphere of assertion and strength. It can make an excellent background in areas where people gather. To reduce intensity, combine red with white. Pale pinks combine successfully with greens. A little red in the garden goes a very long way.Red is probably the most dominant colour on the wheel. It is exciting, energetic, vital and physically powerful. Deep reds are redolent of atmospheric places and can communicate an opulent and powerful message to the viewer. Pale pinks in turn, communicate a sense of warmth and peace.
Using Orange in the Garden
Orange is created by mixing red and yellow. It dominates less than red and is a cheerful, lively colour. Ranging from soft peach to coral and terracotta, these shades help create an energising feel. Orange contains a glow that can be used to good effect in low light areas of the garden to provide a welcoming feeling. It can be used to invite users to a place where you can pause and possibly sit for a while. Orange is an overpowering colour when used in large quantities. Used sparingly it will introduce a note of life and the potential for action into your garden.
Using Yellow in the Garden
Use Yellow in darker places, under the fruit trees, glimpsed in a woodland area, against a wall where the sun rarely shines. You won’t be disappointed.Yellow is the colour of summer and, when used in the garden can bring a feeling of sunshine into your selected spaces. Used in shaded areas or where sunshine can be absorbed by darker colours such as walls or buildings it can bring a real sense of summer sunshine into a space.
Paler Yellows, creams, and white flowers with yellow centres such as Daisies, can be used to introduce a quieter, more refined feeling as you introduce a note of transition away from your areas of yellow.
The same feeling that one gets, especially in temperate regions, when the sun breaks through the clouds, can also be experienced by coming upon a yellow scheme in the garden. It will inspire and help to create a sense of optimism and a feeling that all things are as they should be in the world.
Using Green in the Garden
The re-occurrence of growth each year is heralded by green shoots giving us a feeling of security, reinforcing seasonal rhythms. It calms us and allows us to harmonise ourselves and our gardens with the wider world.Green, in Garden Design is obviously of particular importance & is practically impossible to avoid, especially in temperate areas. As well as providing what is seen as a natural backdrop for our garden work it also has a naturally calming effect.
Green harmonises well with natural materials, stone, ceramic pots and masonry. Some careful attention to shades and tints will pay dividends here. For instance the use of strong red and dark green will be very intense, while the use of yellow and pale green can be an interesting combination to create an optimistic, restful feeling.
Using Blue in the Garden
Blue and light yellow or cream is fresh and energetic so perhaps use these colours outside a bedroom window for that energetic start to the day.Blue is the colour that occurs all around in the sky and again in the ocean. It is expansive and open and therefore very useful for increasing the amount of perceived space. Use it in particular in small gardens which have open views to the sky & that are lightly shaded.
Using Violet or Purple in the Garden
Purple can make an excellent foil for works of art such as Garden Sculptures. It combines well with complementary shades like green, blue and cream.Violet is a combination of blue and red. It is a regal and dignified colour that needs to be used with discretion. The paler shades of violet can be restful and promote serenity but if you use too much of the darker shades it can become tiring and less than restful.
Using Brown in the Garden
Brown is a baseline colour that combines well with purple and gold and with most colours including the omnipresent green. It is therefore a very useful colour which can introduce a note of stability to the garden and which will work well with a combination of plants and materials.Brown is the colour of underlying life in the garden; the colour of wood and also of the earth. Like green, and indeed some greys, it is all around us; tree bark, earth, leaves for a good portion of the autumn, nuts and of course many items of garden furniture and enclosures.
Using White in the Garden
Be aware that you run the risk of creating a sterile space which may become too structured if you use lots of white plants and white painted backgrounds. Consider using off-white flowers for a more subtle approach. Pure white however is a good autumn colour for the short evenings. It catches and holds the remaining light in the garden and maintains a cheerful, uplifting brightness as the sunlight fades.White is clean, simple and organised and is often used on formal houses where it reflects light and emphasises structure.
Using Black in the Garden
Black can be used to interrupt a rhythm in a design, or used on a background wall of fence it can help to create shadow and an illusion of depth. Try using a black sculpture or piece of furniture to introduce dramatic, sophisticated punctuation into your Garden Design. On the other hand you can leave it to nature to introduce note of black to your garden. Simply provide somewhere for the crows to perch and they will come, as they did for Patrick Ketch! They stayed long enough for him to do this drawing.Black is a rare colour in landscape design, especially in plant selection. As far as I know there is no such thing as a black flower. Very dark colours may be obtained however if you want to introduce a dramatic, or even Gothic, effect to a certain part of the Garden. Though black can be considered morbid, it is quite a difficult colour to employ in Garden Design. Black accents can transform an otherwise bland scheme, for instance, black gates, rails and black light fittings will introduce a note of drama and sophistication to your design.