Color in the garden — an affordable luxury


The picture of a beautiful garden in the imagination of each summer resident is different and it is very different from what landscape designers create.

All because professionals have their own secrets, great experience and observation (the skill of observing successful compositions).

For beginners, it remains either to master the basics of design, or to rely on someone else’s experience, to peep and memorize compositions from the pros, at least on the scale of flower beds.

And here the composition of the participants is not so important — the main thing is to choose the “right” colors.

NUANCE: the creation of a garden begins with planning, creating a composition, planting paths and arranging small architectural forms.

Color is the final stage that «works» to form an «impression».

A little digression…

To talk about color, you need to understand the subject of discussion. The color palette is easier to perceive as a circle divided into sectors. There are twelve of them.

Main (primary) colors — blue, red, yellow. All three are perfectly combined with each other.

If you take paints and mix each pair, you get composite colors:

  • blue + red = purple,
  • red + yellow = orange,
  • yellow + blue = green.

Each color has its own temperature:

  • yellow, orange, red — warm colors,
  • green, blue, purple — cold.

Between the main and components are complex colors:

  • blue (primary) + purple (composite)
  • purple (composite) + red (primary)
  • red (primary) + orange (composite)
  • orange (composite) + yellow (primary)
  • yellow (primary) + green (composite)
  • green (composite) + blue (primary)

All of the above colors are pure tones.

They can be lightened (blurred) using white. The most diluted tones are called pastel.

Dark tones are obtained by adding black. The darkest tones are called velvet.

There is another category of tones, the so-called muted (neutral).

In the garden, the carriers of neutral tones are soil, water, stones, tree bark, and artificial structures.

There is a simple hint plate with which you can determine which colors are combined with each other and which are not.

When using it, you need to understand that this is just a schematic representation of colors that have a lot of shades (see the picture above).

Color combinations that look beautiful are different shades of the same color (if you exclude a pure tone), as well as the following combinations:

Lines and shapes can be rotated around the center, choosing your combination. At the same time, it is worth considering that everyone is involved in the composition: flowers and leaves (needles) of plants, stones on the paths, facades, small architectural forms.

IMPORTANT: when combining several colors, only one is saturated, all the rest should be several tones lighter.

Now, armed with knowledge of the «base», let’s return to the theme of the impression (mood) of the garden and see how it looks in practice.

SOLEMNITY AND PURITY — this is how the white-green gamut of flower beds is characterized.

White color hides excesses and pretentiousness, therefore you can safely «draw» a garden with the participation of terry varieties of plants. The compositions are elegant, but not overloaded.

White color is clearly visible in the light of the moon and in too shaded corners of the garden.

White visually brings objects closer, so you should not use it on the borders of small areas, so as not to reduce them even more.

ROMANCE — painting of the garden in watercolor technique.

Blurred tones, graceful textures and a slight touch of negligence on the verge of neglect “work” here.

If we talk about the choice of color, then warm tones are preferable: «cream», «caramel», «peach», «powder», pale pink, etc…

For silver, turquoise, blue and lavender there is also a place, though in sunny places. For example, as a frame for a pond, to smooth out the color transition between the blue sky reflected in the water surface and the greenery of the lawn.

Blotches of white accents dilute the palette even more, therefore, to give freshness, you should avoid large white spots, preferring a white haze of gypsophila, cornflower, penstemon and flowering geyher. And it is even better to give this color for the design of small architectural forms.


Blue-green flower beds bring just such a mood to the garden.

If you use only blue shades, the garden may turn out to be too cold and this design is suitable only for the southern regions.

In other cases, color accents come to the rescue.

White, or rather cream or white with yellowness, is added to a blue-green flower garden, where it works like a breath of a warm breeze over the vast expanse of the sea …

A small spot of hot color against the background of all shades of blue, like a sunrise, will be the final accent of the picture.

HARMONY AND NATURALITY — a trend in modern landscape design.

The natural shades of specific plants do not “hurt the eye”, do not cause violent emotions, but arouse interest in contemplation.

Color in its purest form is present here in the form of subtle accents against the backdrop of arrays of blurry and muted tones.

Monochrome flower beds cannot be found in such a garden, but mixing several colors from adjacent sectors of the color wheel is popular. Can be used from two to six colors (any half of the color wheel).

JOY AND COURAGE is a topical issue for the estate, where life is in full swing.

This mood is created by red-yellow-orange flower beds in a mixed or monochrome version. You should be aware that these warm colors show up in well-lit areas and lose their splendor in the shade.

These colors are suitable for designing active areas of the site: a playground, a summer kitchen.

The warm range is quite energetic, so you should not decorate large spaces with it in a small area and places of secluded relaxation.

A good choice for spring and autumn compositions, short-term and life-affirming.

EMOTIONALITY AND ATTRACTION — the most enchanting flower beds are obtained by mixing contrasting and complementary (complementary) colors.

Combinations of colors located at different poles of the color wheel look bright (complementary colors), or at the vertices of an equilateral triangle (contrasting colors). Even modest shades will play brighter on a neutral gray background (gray fence, gravel path, concrete element, etc.).

But truly luxurious are compositions based on an isosceles triangle, rectangle and square.

However, the more colors in the combination, the more difficult it is to balance the proportions between them.

Such bright accents quickly tire the eyes, and they should be dosed in the garden.

Contrasting colors are recommended to decorate objects that they plan to highlight: a porch or facade of a house, sculptures, fountains, but in no case outbuildings or an unpresentable fence.

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