Colour selection for your garden

Designing your garden is an art. Like any good painting, you must plan it out, with a view to balance, colour and lines. Today, we are going to learn about colour selection for gardeners, using a garden of frangipanis as a case study.

Before you start purchasing plants and dumping them in your garden, you need to settle on a colour scheme. There are a handful of ways to pick a colour scheme that is pleasing to the eye, yet there are easily hundreds of ways to make a colour scheme that is an awful mess.

First, think about how many colours you want. We are going to consider the colours of frangipanis as an example. Frangipanis come in pink, red, orange, yellow and white (as well as combinations of the above- but this is a topic we will reserve for a future, more advanced lesson). Notice how we have arranged red, orange, yellow and white in order. Pink is an odd case; it is not a colour of the rainbow, rather it is a light, undersaturated red. You may notice white is also not a colour of the rainbow, but it is the colour you get when you combine an entire rainbow together.

Now, you can either pick colours which are next to each other, or you can skip entire sections of the colour wheel. There are many places online where you can actually make a perfect designer colour scheme, but you can also do it on your own.

If you are planting frangipanis, consider how many different colours you want. One colour is boring, so go with two, three or four. Five is too many.

Then, choose colours which are next to each other, such as red and orange; or skip alternative colours, such as by choosing red and yellow.

Translating this in terms of frangipanis, you could plant a pink frangipani, lulus blood for instance, with a white frangipani. Remember, colour selection for gardeners is about rules, not unfettered creativity.