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  • Writer's pictureJulia Watson

Color Combinations in the Garden

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

Garden in bloom
Our back-yard garden

Whether you’re a new gardener planning your first garden, or an experienced gardener adding plants to an existing garden, I advise you to stop and think of how flower colors will work together. A garden is best if there's a color plan, but I admit it's hard to achieve. I’ve had to make compromises on color in my own garden, but with advance planning maybe you'll do better.

I’ve been an artist and a gardener for years, and now I’m a florist as well, so color is always on my mind. When I first planted my back-yard garden (which is now about 25 years old), I had help from a talented pair of landscape designers. I knew the plants I wanted, but Hugh and Maureen put them into a beautiful whole, keeping in mind which plants worked well together. They put color groups together skillfully, so that each flower bed had harmonious colors instead of a fractured rainbow sprinkled around randomly. Over the years I’ve replaced plants (I’m a plantaholic, always needing new varieties), but I stick to their color plan. A new red rose gets planted in the red area, a new lavender goes into the yellow-and-purple bed, etc.

Zinnias in all colors bloom in one of Tiny Footprint's cutting beds.

When Don and I started Tiny Footprint Flowers, we planned our cutting beds with no thought to color – it was hard enough to decide on with varieties to grow and when to plant them. After taking into account sun, wind and differing needs for water and fertilizer, we couldn’t add in flower color as a determining factor. I decided that for floral work, it wouldn’t matter if things looked great in the beds, only that they were beautiful when combined in the vase. That’s the compromise I’ve settled on – keeping the color-coordinated old garden in our back yard, and the mixed-up mess of colors in our cutting beds. It works for us!

Color combinations in the vase - grown and arranged by Tiny Footprint Flowers.

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