Make your Yard a Color Wheel

Gardening is a great way to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and brighten your home! If you are looking for ways to fill your garden with color and texture, California Certified Nursery Professional, Kathy Moine, has several helpful tips to cultivate beautiful landscaping in your garden. Continue reading to learn about Kathy’s tried and true methods!

Kathie Moine | California Certified Nursery Professional, Green Thumb Nursery

Make your Yard a Color Wheel

You walk out of your house one morning, coffee in hand and you look across the street at the neighbor's yard. This particular yard belongs to a neighbor who has the time to work in her yard regularly. The neighbor just happens to be outside when she looks up from her chores and says, "Good morning!" You notice she is working on her flower beds, full of different colors and textures. You wave back and think to yourself, “I wish my yard had some more color; her yard is so beautiful.” You might be wondering where to begin. Fortunately, you have many options to choose from!

You may think that her yard is a little too colorful, but you would like to add some color in a subtler way. One way you can achieve this is to use a monochromatic color scheme. A monochromatic color scheme is a term for when you use only one color but in a variety of tones and shades.

This is where a color wheel is a valuable tool. To find a color wheel, you can first go online and search for a color wheel of your choice; there are simple color wheels as well as more complex wheels that break down the colors even further. One example is as follows:

The colors that are next to each other on the color wheel are complementary and blend well with each other. This is where you could use the wheel to create a monochromatic look. You may also choose to create a more subtle look by using pinks with reds, purples with blues, or oranges with yellows.

You might also choose to showcase a major pop of color; this can be done by using contrasting colors. To do so, you can reference your color wheel and choose the colors that are across from each other. These contrasting colors are opposites which tend to catch the eye. For example, if you look at the color wheel, yellow is across from blue, red and purple. All three colors would be considered a contrasting color to yellow. You can also look at nature; there are many different color combinations that can be used for inspiration.

Here are a few examples of contrasting colors in combination with each other:

Left to right: yellow-violet pansy, hybrid tea rose, blue-yellow pansy

As you can see by the set of pictures below, the new varieties of Lantana come in many different color combinations. This plant group has evolved dramatically from the simple ground-cover and large hedge varieties of yesteryear. These new varieties are multicolored shrubs that can be maintained to 18” x 18” with minimal pruning. Because of their low-water use, they fit right into the SAMLARC’s water-wise Mediterranean landscape style and provide color almost all year-round.

Left to right: Little Lucky Hot Pink, Patty Wankle, Patriot Firewagon

This next picture is one of the Calliope Crimson Flame Geranium. The contrast of the hot pink and deep orange is also very striking.

Calliope Crimson Flame

Now that you have an idea of which color combination you would like to experiment with, you are ready to visit your local nursery for assistance with the plant selection. Remember to take measurements of your area as well as photos so that the person helping you will have an idea of how many plants you would need to fill the area. You can also visit me at Green Thumb Nursery in Lake Forest; I would love to assist you in your plant selection. Happy Gardening!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily shared by the SAMLARC Board of Directors or FirstService Residential California, LLC

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