The Color Basics Of Landscaping

Entrance Color

What sets apart a landscape from the others is appropriate use of color combinations.
Color plays an extremely significant role in the art of landscaping. An improper use of colors gives the impression of visual confusion and demolishes the harmony of the
overall design. On the other hand, if proper colors are used, it will go a long way in
turning your landscape into something visually appealing to the creative eye. It is thus essential to use colors appropriately. You may think that you have a creative eye, but landscaping differs from the other art forms in many ways. For one, it entails the use of live elements to complete the design. It is virtually impossible to change the colors of plants, but you can definitely choose the correct colors. It is wise to consult a color wheel for appropriate blend f colors. You may even wish to consult an expert for the purpose of understanding the color theory better.


To get a better understand of the color theory, you must know the difference
between various categories of colors. Colors are categorized as primary, secondary,
tertiary and neutral for the purpose of the user’s convenience. The following
information will clear off things for you. Red, green and blue form the primary group of colors while, yellow, violet and purple form the secondary group. The tertiary colors are a blend of the primary and secondary colors. Gray, white and silver are regarded as neutral colors.


It is very important to use colors in a proper manner. A proper use of colors is helpful
in creating unity or harmony amongst the various elements of landscape design. To
create this type of harmony, you would be required to do an extensive study of color
combinations in order to find the colors that match well together. One good way of
achieving this is by coordinating two colors, which are of the same ‘type’. Colors
could be warm or cool. The warm colors include red, yellow and orange while blue,
green, pink and purple are the cool shades. You may match the warm shades with
warm ones and cool ones with each other. For a stark contrast, you may even match a warm and a cool color.


You must realize that the choice of colors for your garden should depend upon the
main motive behind the designing exercise. Therefore, if a theme has been planned,
then it is important that shades be chosen so as to highlight the theme. For example,
if the basic inspiration for creating a particular design of landscape was a place of
relaxation, then a right choice of colors could include violets, oranges, or greens
which by nature are relaxing colors. On the other hand, if you propose to make your
garden into a vibrant and exciting place, then bright shades of red, yellow and orange are ideal. Neutral colors like white and grey can be used to add that ‘dash of
difference’ to your landscape. For instance, you may wish to create a ‘cool’ spot in a
bright garden. In that case, neutral shades do the trick. The tertiary colors are the
middle or transaction colors and can be used to show the separation between primary and secondary colors.


Usually, landscape designing is the next step after interior decoration. In such a case,
you may consider using mixed patterns of complimenting colors for the interiors and
the garden surrounding your house. It is a great idea to use color schemes that
compliment the interior of your house since this creates a feeling of unity and accord. The harmony that gets created will ensure a well-coordinated look to your décor scheme. It is a good idea to use plant colors that seem to ‘match’ with the furniture colors or maybe the wall colors in the house.


It is a wise idea to use seasonal variants of plants sparingly. Such plants bloom only
once a year, so barring that time, your garden will appear to be a very dull place
otherwise. The best way to avoid such a situation is to use a mix of seasonal as well as perennial colors in your garden. The seasonal plants will lend a unique beauty to the garden once a year while the perennial plants will maintain the look of the garden. This will prevent the garden from getting a dull look in different seasons.


Warm colors are used to create a lively and striking appearance in gardens. They can
actually make the landscape look smaller. While a liberal use of cool colors can help
create cherished landscapes, warm colors have an exactly opposite effect on the
visual impressions. They make objects appear closer than what they actually are.
Thus, if warm colors are used in excess, the garden may end up looking smaller than
what it actually is. Therefore, you must bear in mind to use them sparingly. A good
idea for using them would be to render a ‘shock effect’ in midst of a peaceful looking


The number of colors that are to be used depends on the size of the garden. In a smaller garden, making use of few colors in larger groups would result in a visually harmonious effect. Making use of varied colors in small quantities would result in the reduction of the visual appeal. This will create a sense of chaos. The tips for color usage that have been given above are very basic and can be applied to all forms of art. If you are good with colors, then you may wish to experiment more with the color combinations. In such case, you may get a better insight into the color
theory by reading some books solely on it. You can also make use of tools like the color wheel. Nowadays, many software tools are available that will help you develop your ideas about color theory.

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