Monochromatic Color: shades all on one color block. Think red and pink, red being the more saturated color.
Complimentary: mixing colors. Use the color wheel as a guide, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Eye-catching combinations include blue/orange, violet/yellow, and red/green. Use these in areas that you want to attract attention, such as next to your front door. A pot of blue salvia with yellow/orange zinnia, for example.
Analogous (Tertiary): groups of three colors next to each other on the color wheel. Ex.: red, orange and red-orange, or blue, indigo and violet. Many displays at the Spring Show at Phipps use analogous colors for a cacophony of gorgeous color.
Neutral: colors that can be used with any other color without changing the effect you’re trying to achieve: white, grey, silver, and shades of brown. These tend to tone down other colors, and can be used as a buffer. While white serves as a neutral, it serves another purpose. White flowers glow in the early morning and evening. If you work all day and can only enjoy your garden in the early morning and evenings, you’ll want to include splashes of white and silver.
And one more thing....
Special note about yellow: Yellow attracts attention because of its psychological effects on the eye. We are trained to notice yellow in our environment…a yellow light, yellow vest worn by crossing guards and construction workers. Likewise, yellow (or white) will accentuate an eyesore.
Avoid doing that.
Colors fall into two basic categories: dark and bright. Dark colors, such as blue and purple, tend to be calming and serene. So, on a bright, sunny patio or deck, try darker colors. You’ll get more “bang for your buck” because they won’t get washed out in the glaring sun. The opposite is true in the shade where there are lots of shadows. Dark colors fade, so choose bright colors like yellows and oranges as well as pastel pinks, blues, and lavenders. Bright colors will also draw attention to areas you want to highlight: a front entrance, featured flower beds, seating areas, or even garden art. Bright colors are also festive, conveying: “Let’s eat, drink, and have a party!”
Container Gardening Inspiration
Grouping Pots of Various Sizes
The rainbow offers us a myriad of possibilities to play with color in our gardens. Get outside and let your creativity guide you! Your colorful containers will provide months of pleasure for both you and the bees and butterflies.
Whether you experiment with color or not this year, the display at the Gardens of the Rainbow at the Spring Show at Phipps Conservatory is open through April 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily and until 10:00 p.m. on Fridays. Admission is $17.95 for adults, $16.95 for seniors and students, $11.95 for children ages 2-18, and free for members and kids under 2.
If you have a few more minutes check out our recent garden adventures to Charleston, SC and Phipps Spring Flower show.
Container and Window Box Inspirations from Charleston, SC Garden Tour
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Gwen Wisniewski: Landscape and Garden Designer. Contact me. Let me help you integrate these garden inspirations. Choose the links below to find out more about my landscape design service or to make an appointment.