Colours For the Garden

Purple and Yellow flowers

Colours set the mood of any garden. Of course, it is not just flowers that bring colour to a garden; leaves, fruit, stems can all contribute to the theme of any borders. Planters, pots, fencing and garden buildings can set the tone and really bring a garden to life. It can depend on the changing seasons too. Serious gardeners will accommodate each season and plant accordingly providing some sort of colour all year round.

Using colour in your garden can also make small spaces seem larger and attract attention to particular areas. Colour can also be used to tie different garden areas together to create harmony. So, planting the right colours is a serious matter. The good news is there's some help at hand and the solution is a science that makes complete sense. It all comes down to the Colour Wheel.

The Colour Wheel


This has all the colours of the spectrum bent round in a circle. The idea is that relationships between colours give certain results. The colour wheel below is a very simplistic version.

According to BBC Gardening, there are 3 basic rules to follow within the colour wheel theory:

1 - Adjacent Colours

Using 2 or preferably 3 colours that are next to each other on the wheel will create a harmonious effect, i.e. red, orange and yellow.

2 - Complementary

Using colours that sit opposite each other on the wheel complement each other the greatest, known as complementary pairs i.e. purple and yellow.

3 - Contrasts

Using colours that are spaced an equal distance from each other around the circle. Contrasts work best in groups of 3 i.e. orange, purple and green. It is advisable to choose 1 colour as a main theme and then accent with the other colours, as contrasting colours in equally large numbers can look a little crazy.

You can even take the colour theory one step further by invoking how you would like the colours in your garden to make you feel. Blue, purple and green colours are considered cool colours and are more likely to relax you. Red, orange and yellow colours are considered warm colours and are more likely to excite the viewer. However, there are of course many different tones within each colour ranging from the very bright to more pastel and neutral shades to choose from.

Trends for 2014

Trends for the garden for this year are set to be an antidote to the fast-paced modern world that we live in. Calming and relaxing with an emphasis on attracting bees, growing edible plants and vegetables. There appears to be a growing trend towards understanding the relationship between gardening and connecting with nature and how this can lead to you feeling more satisfied and fulfilled in your garden. Equally there is a growing trend towards entertaining in your garden backed up by an ever-expanding outdoor living and gardening market set to increase still further this year.

Trends for house colours this year according to Farrow & Ball: "The colours we will want to use in our homes over the next year reflect our instinctive need to turn our backs on the hard, flat surfaces which dominate modern life... Gathered from either the seashore or the landscape." We have a strong feeling that this will be present in the garden too.

Now that the planting is sorted out, we should turn our attention to other aspects of the garden. Furniture, fencing and garden buildings provide a different dimension to your garden, making your garden usable, practicable and liveable. They provide a three-dimensional aspect and the colours of these items need to be treated with care. It is better for these to blend in and let your planting do the talking but for those who wish to make a statement may dare a more unique colour palette. The most popular shades of garden buildings that we sell tend to be very neutral soft tones that are inspired by nature and the New England style colours. Our National Trust range of buildings are very popular using colours directly sourced from their range of paints:

If you're interested in a garden building, and would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

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