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How do I Coordinate Flower Colors in my Garden?

Crafting a harmonious garden palette requires considering bloom times, color theory, and your personal style. Start with a base hue and complement it with analogous shades or create vibrancy with contrasting colors. Remember, texture and foliage also play key roles in your garden's aesthetic. Wondering how to balance these elements for year-round beauty? Let's explore the art of garden color coordination together.
G. Melanson
G. Melanson

When gardeners talk about coordinating flower colors in their gardens, they don’t usually mean planting different flowers in matching colors. Rather, coordinating flower colors in your garden requires the selection of a range of flowers in complementary colors, arranged with the same sense of balance as one might find in a flower arrangement. Whether or not you have an innate sense of color and design when it comes to gardens, you can still coordinate the flower colors in your garden with the help of a color wheel and a few simple tricks.

On an average color wheel, the colors which face each other on the opposite side of the wheel are known as complementary colors. Complementary colors, such as purple and yellow, would work well together if selected as flower colors in a garden. For example, purple pansies and yellow tulips would go well together in a garden. Similarly, since orange and blue are complementary colors, orange tiger lilies and bluebells are also coordinated flower colors. Complementary flower colors can also be balanced out by planting smaller, white flowers, such as baby’s breath, daisies, or hydrangea, sporadically throughout the garden.

Gardening tools and potted flowers.
Gardening tools and potted flowers.

If you’ve already planted a garden in random flower colors and you want it to have a more pulled-together look, you can coordinate one of your garden’s main flower colors with garden accessories, such as a bench, or a rock. Just be sure to choose accessories in a solid, uniform color, such as a blue chair to bring out the blue tulips in your garden – rather than a multicolored accessory, such as a garden gnome or birdhouse featuring several competing colors. If you can’t find a garden accessory that already matches one of your flowers, find a matching shade of paint at the store and apply it an otherwise colorless garden accessory, such as a stepping stone or terra cotta pot.

Terra cotta pots may be painted to add color to a garden area.
Terra cotta pots may be painted to add color to a garden area.

Although coordinating flower colors is a popular topic amongst home and garden enthusiasts, there are also other types of gardens for which mismatched flowers are popular. These include fairy gardens and secret garden replicas, which feature overgrown wildflowers in various colors.

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Discussion Comments


I have a friend who set up her flower garden, which was in her backyard, so that each section was dedicated to memories and people in her life.

The meaning of the flower colors she chose were based on her life and also on some standard meaning. For example, in some societies, one wears a red flower or a white flower on Mother's Day. The color of the bloom indicates whether the mother of the person wearing the flower is dead or alive.

My friend's garden was quite elaborate, and for her, walking through the garden was like taking a stroll down memory lane.


I have walked through flower gardens and yards decorated with flowers many times. I have sometimes wondered why the gardens looked so much better than what my efforts had produced in my backyard.

Reading this article answers my questions. I have plenty of different colored flowers, but I haven't given any thought to how the colors compliment one another, or how I can better place them in relationship to one another. Setting the flowers up in a color wheel pattern sounds like a great idea.

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    • Gardening tools and potted flowers.
      By: Michael Flippo
      Gardening tools and potted flowers.
    • Terra cotta pots may be painted to add color to a garden area.
      By: Sergey Skleznev
      Terra cotta pots may be painted to add color to a garden area.