Create Repetition

Create drama and interest in your garden by planting spots of your favorite color. The recurring color will draw the eye through your landscape and give your yard a cohesive feel. Here, for example, clumps of bright red salvia pull attention from the front of the garden to the back.

  • Learn quick ways to add garden color.

Change with the Seasons

Add excitement to your yard by adjusting the color scheme from season to season. It’s easy with a little planning — just pay attention to your plants’ flowering times. For example, grow pink-, purple-, or blue-blooming bulbs and perennials in the spring; summery red and pink blossoms in the hot months; then mums with trees and shrubs in golden, orange, or red tones in autumn.

Design for Your Timeline

Consider when you spend the most time in your yard as you choose your colors. If you’re outside mostly in the evenings, go for plants with silvery foliage or white flowers. They shimmer and shine as the sun goes down, whereas other shades tend to fade. If you see your garden mainly in the mornings, select bright flowers and foliage to give your day a cheery start.

Employ Bright Colors

Shades of red, orange, and yellow usually catch your eye the fastest, so use plants and art in these colors as focal points. These bold, bright hues are also perfect for directing attention away from objects you’d prefer not to view. For example, splash some orange in your yard to keep garden guests from noticing your neighbor’s garbage cans or recycling bin.

Plant in Layers

Think of your garden like a cake and create bands of color that run horizontally. Layered plantings such as the garden you see here are wonderful for adding depth to your yard. In this garden, lacecap hydrangeas create a soft pink and blue strip. Underneath is a swath of oranges and yellows, and a lovely band of lavender provides a base.

Pick a Color Palette

One easy way to create lots of interest is to picking a color scheme. Select a few shades that blend well and create the look you crave. By limiting your color choices, each one has more impact — and it relates beautifully with everything around it.

Create a Canvas

Understated walls are perfect for showcasing art. So use neutral green, gray, or brown backgrounds to highlight plants or colors in your yard. Here, for example, a beige stucco wall makes beautiful climbing roses and honeysuckle shine.

Plant En Masse

Large groups of a single hue make more of an impact than smaller clusters, so coordinate your plants to create big drifts of color. This trick is effective both when you use a single plant and when you grow different plants of the same shade that bloom together. Try a widening swath of reds and blues to create a dramatic visual crescendo across the landscape.

Play Off Containers

Color-play doesn’t have to be limited to flowers. Add interest in your yard with statement-making containers. A bold blue ceramic pot, for example, can make just as much impact as the blooms it holds.

Add Color with Structures

Landscape structures, such as fences, pergolas, and garden sheds can add a dose of visual thrill to your yard, especially if you live in a snowy winter climate. This cool blue fence ties in with a planting of perennial geranium and purple thalia in the water garden, and a red door and lime-green bench give the landscape some added pizzazz.

Play Up Purple

Golden leaves grab the eye — but so do purple ones. And plants with violet, maroon, or plum-hue leaves (including ‘Diabolo’ ninebark, many Japanese maples, and many weigelas) are especially trendy. The rich coloring stands out in the garden and blends well with a wide variety of shades, including chartreuse.

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