Friday, March 2, 2012

It's A Combo

I'm not talking cheeseburger and fries.  I'm talking about color combinations.

Sweeping batches of same color flowers certainly make a statement.  It’s sometimes the best way to catch the attention of pollinating insects and birds.

Using one color shouldn’t be your choice if it’s just because you’re afraid it will clash or be garish.  Let me help a little with color combos.

Purple:  Surprisingly, purple will pair with almost any color in the garden including orange.  When paired with pastels, it becomes part of a soft visual wave.  When paired with bright colors, it often becomes the background that makes the bright color pop.  Lavender needs deep colors around it to make it show up.

Orange:  Orange can be a feature or a background.  If used in quantity for a background, the best colors to plant with orange are:  Bright yellow – not gold.  White – not pale yellow.  Deep purple not lavender.  Lime green not blue green.  Royal blue not dusty blue. 

Red:  Reds have more shades than most any of natures other flowers.  If you have trouble defining the shade, take a pack of basic color crayons and hold each color up to your red.  If the crayon and flower blend perfectly, you know that is the shade of red you have.  Most reds have either orange or purple.  Those two reds don’t usually look good placed next to each other.  Although this isn’t exclusive:  Orange red looks good with shades of orange, yellow, purple, green, and white.  Purple red looks good with purple, lavender, white, chartreuse, and pink.

Yellow:  From soft butter yellow to rich gold, yellow is a great garden color.  It’s the sun, its energy, it can be sweet.  All yellows go with dark green.  Not as good with light green or chartreuse because they are too similar.  It goes with purple, orange, and red.  Bright yellow/gold makes a statement.  Lighter yellows hold a group of colors together.

White:  White calms down a garden full of bright colors or can make a statement used in mass.  Lots of white will glow at night.  White will go with any color although it does different things.  White will weave other colors together.  It can make other colors stand out.  Against dark colors, it can be the feature.

Blue:  Blue, much like purple, can go with most any color without clashing.  The only one I don’t like with blue is orange red.  Blue may get lost when combined with lots of green or in shade.  Blue is a great color to weave other brighter colors together. 

Green:  Green flowers need a lot of other colors around it to be seen.  Many wildflowers are in shades of green.  Chartreuse will hold its own. 

It doesn’t have to be a cottage or informal garden to have combinations of colors.  It doesn’t need to be expanses – try in a container if you’re timid.

To get inspired, check out the two slide shows on my blog “Slide into Spring” #450.  They feature Claude Monet’s gardens in Giverny, France and Annie’s Annuals spring flower show. 

Color combos are as delicious as a cheeseburger and fries and without the calories!

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