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Creative Color Combinations

Planning a flower garden can be a lot of fun, but choosing colors for your garden can seem overwhelming garden sample with so many choices. However, applying some basic color theory principles is a great way to get started.

There are four different approaches to color schemes: complementary, monochromatic, analogous, and triadic.

The complementary color scheme uses colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. Examples are orange and blue, pink and green, yellow and purple.

complementary colors

The monochromatic color scheme uses variations in lightness and saturation of a single color. Examples are shades of light blue to dark blue or pink to dark red.

 monochromatic colors

The analogous color scheme uses colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Examples are light blue to dark purple and light orange to dark red.

 analogous colors

The triadic color scheme uses colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel. Examples are yellow, pink, and blue.

 triadic colors

For trend-setters, the Pantone Color Institute, (an authority on color and the communication of color), chooses a special hue each year based on what is taking place in global culture. It serves as an expression of mood and attitude for the year. For 2019, they have chosen "living coral". Grow some intriguing coral-hued blooms this year!

"Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of… Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, …Living Coral embodies our desire

for playful expression." ~The Pantone Color Institute.

garden sample

We'd love to see how creative you get with your color combinations! Hashtag your creations with #botanicalinterests.



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5 out of 5 stars May 5, 2021
Great reminder of color wheel principles. I tend to get excited and start purchasing without considering color scheme and then find myself disappointed that there's not much visual interest impact even though I love my plants. What flowering shade plants (north side of my house barely gets any sun - 3 hours in the morning) would work for the triadic Pantone color scheme in your blog post? If that's not possible, what color schemes do tend to be most easy to orchestrate with shade loving plants?
Mary from IN
Owner Response: Dear Mary, thank you for your comment! Taking color into consideration when planning your garden can go a long way. As far as what triadic color combination would be best for shade loving plants you would be best with green, purple, red/orange and blue, yellow, pink. We are happy you found this blog post helpful and hope you have fun playing around with the color in your garden!