Gardener's Palette ~ Colour theory for gardeners
Black & White
Black and white are at opposite ends of the light to dark value scale. Paired together they provide maximum, yet elegant contrast. Shown here is Black Bugbane, Black Mondo grass and Begonia Rex. Plant alongside white or pale flowers such as this Clematis to bring drama to your garden.
A monochromatic palette uses various values of the same colour. A monochromatic palette can impart an air of sophistication, especially when a variety of shapes and textures are considered.
This monochromatic scheme in green utilizes an exciting variety of shapes and textures.
Warm colours include yellows, oranges, reds and red-violet. Warm colours remind us of sunshine and fire; and impart a feeling of heat and passion. Planted with red foliage, the warm palette provides a fiery effect. Or set against green foliage for maximum contrast.
Cool colours include blues, greens and blue-violets. They remind us of cool grass, morning skies, water, ice and snow. Cool colours evoke a feeling of serenity and quietude. They play nicely together in the garden or in pots. Add white or silvery-greens to expand the cool palette.
Analogous colours are those hues that lie beside each other on the colour wheel. Analogous colour schemes evoke a feeling of harmony such as this bright and sunny green, yellow, orange combination.
This analogous colour scheme draws colour from the cool side of the colour wheel with a warm splash or red. Notice that both warm and cool red lie on the same side of the colour wheel as violet and blue. When planning colour groupings, be sure to consider each plant’s soil, sun exposure and watering needs.
A complimentary colour scheme combines those colours that lie across from each other on the colour wheel, such as these red-green combinations. Complimentary colours provide deep or subtle contrasts depending on the intensity of the colour.
This complementary colour scheme boasts a maximum contrast due to the dramatic value difference between yellow and violet
This complementary scheme draws colour from its plant pairings and colour of the pot. See how nicely this orange and blue compliment play together? Consider using using containers with brightly coloured glazes when creating your complimentary plantings.
Unlike monochromatic colour schemes, polychromatic refers to things that have a multitude of colours. Notice how the blooms and foliage on these plants have several colours within them. These palettes can stand alone or serve as a starting point for an expanded palette. Pair them with coordinating containers for a pleasing look.
I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. ” My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece. ” I can only draw what I see. ” Everything I have earned has gone into these gardens. ”
All gardening is landscape painting Alexander Pope