flower brilliance

Flowers and plants can create brilliant color patches. These cut flowers illustrate the point.

Creating great color combinations in the garden can make a landscape into something out of the ordinary. Garden color schemes paint a theme into the overall design, adding continuity, accents and focal points. These effects also have a strong impact on our moods.  You can just plant whatever flowers you like in your garden or you can think about what you are doing — design, and create a walk-in picture, your own magical three-dimensional painting you can visit whenever you want.

Use colors to set the mood

Hot hues of red, orange and yellow have an energizing effect on how we feel.  Cool blues and purples feel relaxing.  Soft pastels are peaceful and gentle. Dark colors can conjure up the mysterious.

lavender pink landscape

A lavender and pink garden is created by garden materials. plants and lighting.

Create combinations

This is like painting with plants. Design a garden with blended hues like pink, red and white. (Red and white mix into pink.) Add contrast with mixtures of light and dark. Go bold with brilliant splashes. Or come up with your own color scheme that reflects your favorite combination.


Single colors can paint a garden with an assortment of plant types, like an all-white garden with assorted white blooms and white variegated foliage. White can really pop in the shade. All-blues, all-pinks, all-reds and even all-green landscapes can form a powerful theme.

Landscape color

Plants, walls, a walkway and decor paint a colorful picture.

Flowers and more

Sources to color your garden can come from more than just flowers. Leaves can glow in multiple shades. Walls, furniture, outdoor fabrics, paints, oils, stains and other finishes offer a rainbow of choices. Even stone – gravel, blocks, boulders or slabs – come in an amazing range of hues including the unexpected, like purples, greens and blues, some with spots, veining and even sparkles.

Structures can add color, too. Powder coated metal, wood and other building materials can sport colorful finishes and even designs or murals. Add a trellis, arch, fencing, window frames or decorative doors as ornamental or functional sources of color. Or use your favorite décor – sculptures, flags, pots, outdoor drapes and pillows or other decorative items – to pick out colorful accents.

Mix and match the shades you like best to design the garden that reflects your taste and creates the mood you want.

red garden

Red energizes this garden seating area.

If you want guidance, study color wheels that guide you through various combinations. You can find these wheels illustrated in art and design books or on the Internet. Your landscape is a creation of your own. Design it the way you want. There is no right or wrong, but there are color combinations that work better than others. Paint your garden into the look and feel that complements your house and the area where you live. Then enjoy your colorful outdoor creation.