A Crazy Mix Of Flower Color

By Laura Miller | May 13, 2022
Image by Orthosie
by Laura Miller
May 13, 2022

Like Leonardo Da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa, I consider planting flowers in the garden to be a form of art. From the specific flower color and hue that I choose to the overall flower garden color schemes, there’s no doubt that I lack true artistic talent. But hey, I have fun trying!

Painting Flower Color into the Garden

There’s a whole science behind creating a garden color palette. It’s based on the color wheel with three basic flower garden color schemes:

  • Complementary – Colors of flowers from opposite sides of the color wheel are chosen to create dynamic eye-appeal. This could be yellow marigolds with purple petunias, blue hydrangea surrounded by orange poppies or bright red cockscomb interspaced between lime green zinnias.
  • Analogous – In this color scheme, three adjacent colors are chosen. An example would be yellow lantana, orange gerbera daisies and a red mandevilla vine all tucked away in a decorative planter.
  • Monochromatic – When creating this garden color palette, the focus in on a single color. Flowers are chosen within the family of tones, hues and intensities of a particular color. An all-white night garden is one style of a monochromatic garden.

How I Choose Colors of Flowers 

My approach for painting color into the garden isn’t based on any scientific method. That is, unless one considers the mad scientist methodology to be a valid technique.  No, for me, creating flower garden color schemes is strictly a right-brained activity. Trying to garden by a formula is not for me.

Instead, I start off by cruising once around my favorite local greenhouse. I love to plant annuals in front of my house, and that’s usually the purpose of the shopping trip. Going with annuals means I’m not locked into any specific garden color palette. I can pick and choose whatever suits my fancy.

Yet, I’m specifically looking for something unique, or at least a flower color or shape I haven’t seen a million times before. I’ll know it when I find it, then I’ll begin to fill my flat with several packs of this seasonal beauty. 

With the flower flat in hand, I’ll continue circling the greenhouse like the crazed flower-mom that I am. I’ll pick up other types and colors of flowers and hold them next to my chosen specimen. There’s no scientific method here. I simply fill the flat with colors and textures of annuals that catch my eye.

Mixing it Up

I may choose lavender ageratum and deep purple petunias. These might get planted next to orange marigolds, red geraniums and yellow cockscomb. I might throw in some white verbena just for the fun of it. Or maybe I’ll feel a pastel garden color palette more to my liking.

What is the method to my madness? How do I know if this jumbled mess of flower color will work? I simply look down at my flat. If I like what I see, I go with it. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? Will the world come to an end? Will the neighbors laugh behind my back? (Well, maybe!) 

Bottom line, if my flower color experimentation fails, I only have to live with it for a few short months in the summer. Frost will soon hit the flowerbeds and wipe the palette clean. And that’s the beauty of creating flower garden color schemes with annuals.

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