The colour wheel would be your best friend when it comes to creating a pleasing garden palette. It's based on the three primary colors -- red, yellow, and blue. A full-colour wheel resembles a rainbow, with red and orange next to yellow, followed by green, blue, purple, and violet. Generally speaking, warm colors are red through chartreuse while cool colors are green through violet.

Choice One: Complementary Colors

One natural way to combine colors in the garden is to choose complementary colours. That means selecting plants in colours that are across from one another on the colour wheel. For example, red is across from green, orange is across from blue, and, as in this bright array, yellow is across from purple.

Choice Two: Analogous Colors

An analogous palette is also a good way to create garden color harmony. In this scheme, hues that are next to each other on the color wheel -- red and yellow, yellow and green, even fuchsia and purple as in this photo -- mix well together.


Choice Three: Monochromatic Colors

While it's a simple choice, a single colour also can supply a garden with visual impact. In a monochromatic colour scheme, you can keep all furnitures and decorative pieces in the same hue, or you can integrate different tones of the same shade.


Choice Four: Warm Colors

Warm tones of red and orange have movement, bringing vibrancy and energy to landscapes.

Cool Colors

Cool colors, on the other hand, create a low-key, soothing mood. Cool colours include blues, purples, and pale pastels.


Choice Five: A Triad of Colors

Another cue from the colour wheel is to select a triad. It's a trickier arrangement to achieve, but it's one that can definitely make an impact in terms of colour and visual interest. Here, it's done with orange zinnia, Double Knockout roses, and Mexican sage.


Choice Six: Double Complements

To add more plant and colour variety to a garden, you can also employ a more complex colour composition, such as a double complementary. To do that, choose two adjacent colours -- red (dahlias used here) and orange-yellow (black-eyed Susan is shown here), for example -- and pick their complements across the colour wheel. In that case, it's green and purple.

More Complementary Ideas

Purple and yellow pops up in plenty of gardens, and for good reason: The two hues are the prime example of matching complementary colours from the colour wheel for an arrangement of flowers that's pleasing to the eye. Here it's a yellow pansy with blue salvia.

More Analogous Ideas

This lovely trio of lilies gently steps around one side of the colour wheel for a lush pastel combination that showcases the calmer, cooler side of orange, pink, and yellow.

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