How to Give your Garden Colour – Having spent more time pondering in my garden in recent weeks, I have realised the importance of outside space. Not just to observe the natural beauty of a garden, but to appreciate the wildlife, coordination of flower and foliage and the colour element it has to offer us.
Colour does give your garden more life and my display of Dutch Tulips with their brilliant and sunny shades have done me proud. From sunrise to sunset, the variety of colour combinations can change throughout the day with every colour offerings its own unique character: white is pure and neutral; yellow is sunny, and happy, orange and red are beautiful warm tones, full of expression standing out from the basic green element of the grass and leaves. Pink is cheerful, purple and violet suggest relaxation and blue are fresh and calming.
The choice of colours in the garden is a very personal one and any colour scheme can work. I like to mix and match and let nature take its course, as I don’t think it’s possible to create a ‘wrong’ colour combination with flowers as all combinations to me look beautiful. However, for those who prefer, there are other alternatives for the garden.
Understanding the basic principles of using colour in design can help make that picture in your head a reality. Using the colour wheel is the easiest way to illustrate this concept and is a gardeners ‘best friend’.
The colour wheel was invented in 1666 by Isaac Newton, who mapped the colour spectrum onto a circle. This is the basis of colour theory because it shows the relationship between colours.
There are a number of colour schemes you can create for a garden:
Analogous – these harmonious combinations produce a sense of calm; to create this colour scheme, choose colours that are close to one another on the colour wheel: purple next to pink or yellow next to orange. These colours tend to naturally blend together well.
Complimentary – Contrasting or complementary combinations is when you combine colours that are farther away from each other on the colour wheel; this creates exciting contrasts that catch the attention.
Monochromatic – Three shades, tones and tints of one base colour. Provides a subtle and conservative colour combination. This is a versatile colour combination that is easy to apply to design projects for a harmonious look.
Triadic – If you are looking for a more bold, vibrant look, triadic provides a high contrast colour scheme. Choose three colours that are evenly spaced on the colour wheel.
Tetradic – this offers a bold look when you choose four colours that are evenly spaced on the colour wheel.
Colours also fall into two different categories, dark and bright colours. Dark colours, like blue, purple and pink, tend to create a calming and serene atmosphere. Dark tones are perfect for creating a sanctuary as well as making areas look larger than they are. If you have a small garden these colours can help, make your area feel more spacious.
Bright colours draw attention and make spaces seem smaller. If you have a large space and you would like to make it seem smaller use bright reds, oranges, and yellows in the distance. This will make the planting seem closer to you.
To add additional colour to your garden, you could think about painting your fences, furniture, adding pottery bark or even artwork. Then sit back and enjoy your handy work!