Any great artist recognizes the value of color. Painters, drawers and artisans use different hues deliberately to make an impression on others.
Landscape design is no different. Landscape architects, designers and even homeowners can use color to turn a drab garden into a masterpiece. Following the principles of color theory, “painting” your garden can be fun, as well as meaningful. Here are some tips on how to bring artistry to your landscape through various colors, as interpreted by ColorMatters.com.
Red is often referred to as a color of extremes, symbolizing either passion or anger. To highlight your own passion for gardening or to arouse the emotion in others, use plants like the annual Red Hot Sally, the perennial Scarlet Monarda or the shrub Lord Baltimore Hibiscus. The color red tends to draw the viewer’s attention immediately so planting red in strategic places can help guide visitors to certain areas in your “painting.”
Yellow represents happiness, optimism and creativity so if you use a lot of this color in your garden, you can expect to elicit plenty of smiles from your visitors. To show off your own sunny disposition, plant annual sunflowers, perennial Rudbeckia or the early, double blooming Kerria.
Purple, the color of royalty, is hard to find in the natural plant world. According to Color Matters, the color purple was once so rare that it took tens of thousands of shellfish to produce enough dye for one cloak. Today, celebrate the color with plants like the annual Persian Shield, perennials Liatris and Allium or a tree such as Purple Magic Crape Myrtle.
Green, which symbolizes growth and rebirth, can be found on just about every plant you can add to your garden. Some spectacular plants offer more than just green leaves. Try Envy Green Zinnias, Green Jewel Echinacea and Limelight Hydrangeas to add unique greens to your garden palette.
Orange can add vitality and energy to your landscape’s artistic vision. Like red, this hot color draws the eye to specific areas. Orange plants include the annual marigold and perennials Canna, Echinacea and Coreopsis. More than a few trees display bright orange in autumn, including Cotinus, aka smoke tree, or the Virginia native serviceberry.
White is often used by landscape artists to separate or break up color saturation. Too many passionate (reds) and energetic (orange) colors can overwhelm a garden. Adding white to such a color-scape can bring calm to the colors and help them work more harmoniously. Conversely, white can be used successfully as the only color in a landscape.