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  3. Colour Combinations in the Garden

Colour Combinations in the Garden


By understanding colour, and where to deploy it for the best effect, you can transform your garden into the perfectly designed palette you see in magazines. Using the theories detailed below, you will be able to create a scheme for your garden that either complements or contrasts itself. Colour is never wrong; we all see it differently and how you use it is your choice.

What is Colour Theory? Meaning & Fundamentals

Colour is a crucial component of every kind of design; consequently, careful selection is essential. Designers use the term “colour scheme” to describe the combinations they intend to use. It can be challenging to choose the colour scheme that will work best for you because there are so many different combinations available. We are fortunate to have the field of colour theories, which enables us to select combinations that are both balanced and effective.

Colour harmony refers to combinations of colours that look good together. Using the rules of colour combinations, you can use a colour wheel to find harmonies. Colour combinations determine the relative positions of different colours to find ones that create a pleasing effect.

The colour wheel comes in two varieties. Artists typically employ the RYB (red, yellow, blue) colour wheel because it facilitates the mixing of paint colours. The RGB (red, green, blue) colour wheel, which refers to the mixing of light, follows next. Both methods can be used for creating a scheme for gardens.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Colour Scheme

Using a scheme, you can create moods for your garden; a calming environment with soft pastel colours or an energetic, vibrant garden with hot and contrasting colours.

When choosing a scheme for your garden, remember to consider the architectural style of your home and garden, the colours used in the building material, paths, steps, walls, and fences. All of these will either bring the scheme together or make the structure stick out.

It is also vital to think about the garden conditions you have throughout the day and year. Strong colours are ideal for bright gardens, but pastels will look washed out. Whereas pastels look best in the morning light.

Colour Combinations


The most basic definition of the complementary theory is choosing colours that are opposite one another on the colour wheel, like red and green. Alternately, it may consist of multiple colours spaced evenly around the wheel. A high-contrast combination is provided by a scheme of complementary colours. When viewed as a group, these colours have a brighter and more prominent appearance. Combining green, red, blue, and yellow is another example of this. If you want to make an uplifting area and get people’s attention, this theory is a good option.


Utilise the monochromatic theory for a harmonious appearance. This is done by choosing a single primary colour, and three tints, tones, and shades of that one. Even though this is a straightforward option, planting a garden in a single, consistent colour can provide a visual impact and a calming effect. However, varying the size and shape of the foliage is a good way to create interest by doing this.


In analogous schemes, one colour serves as the dominant one while supporting it with other colours. The scheme is enhanced and made more visually appealing by the supporting colours. On the colour wheel, there are frequently three colours that are next to each other. Despite its versatility, this scheme can be overwhelming. Choose one dominant and use the others as accents to balance a similar scheme. Garden colour harmony can also be achieved using an analogous palette. Red and yellow, yellow, and green, and other colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel work well together in this scheme.

Triadic & Tetradic

Triadic schemes use three colours that are evenly spaced apart. This scheme has a higher contrast than the complementary combination, making it more adaptable. The resulting colour schemes are bold and vibrant.

Tetradic schemes use four colours that are evenly spaced apart. They are daring, and they work best when one colour takes center stage and the others serve as accents. Balance becomes harder to achieve the more colours in your palette.

Warm & Cold Colours

A colour wheel’s combinations typically have a balance of warm and cool colours. Colours that are considered to be warm are said to evoke feelings of cosiness and vitality, whereas colours that are considered to be cool are said to symbolise tranquillity and isolation. The colours from red to yellow are considered warm. But the colours blue, green, and purple are considered cool.

Practical Tips for Creating Colour Combinations

  • Use mood boards to find the right colours
  • Create focal points using colours
  • Decide when and how to use vibrant and soft colours
Updated on August 29, 2023

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