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Colour affects the way we feel, our emotions, moods, physical, and spiritual well-being. Using colour in the garden provides continuity between our interior and exterior living spaces and can improve our wellbeing.

Colour has a significant effect on everything we eat, drink, and touch and influences our physical environment including our home, office, and garden. Colour reflects our personalities.

Colours are a useful tool in creating different moods in the landscape. In order to effectively create with colour, it is important to understand the meaning of the different colours.

Using Colour In The Garden


Red is the colour associated with energy. It tends to command attention and will make areas seem smaller. It is a good colour for dining areas as it increases appetite.

Using red plants in the garden creates a feeling of warmth, movement, and drama. For those who may find it too stimulating, use pink instead

Red plants to use in the shade include begonia, coleus, and impatiens. In
sunny areas use salvia or verbenas.

Use glazed pots, red gravel, red clay bricks or tiles to bring vitality to your landscape.


Orange is the colour of optimism. It is primarily the colour of joy. It is warm,
welcoming, just bursting with earthly energy.

Orange flowers have been known since ancient times as a cure for depression. It is a good colour to use when you have experienced trauma or loss.

Plants to try in the shade include begonia, coleus and impatiens.

For sunny areas try honeysuckle and marigolds.

Plant in terracotta pots, use ornaments, rusting metal, golden gravel and clay bricks.


Yellow is associated with contentment and happiness. It represents the power of the sun, increases the feeling of space. It brings a sense of well-being to the garden even on a grey day.

Golden foliage will often scorch in full sun so plant in dappled shade. Many of the grey or silver-leafed plants have yellow flowers.

Plants to grow in shade include begonias, coleus, and hosts.

For sunny areas try day lilies and yarrow.

Use reconstituted stone containers, ornaments, golden sandstone gravel, and buff paving.


Green is a calming healing colour and means growth. Green foliage on its own will create a tranquil impression. It is restful and relaxing as it offers
sanctuary from the outside world.

Using foliage colours and architectural leaves gives structure and form to any garden space.

Plants for shady areas include coleus, ferns, and Hosta.

Use junipers, grasses and conifers in sunny areas.

Use green wood stain on fences and buildings. It is a popular colour for
garden furniture, umbrellas, glazed pots, garden ornaments.


Blue means spirit. It is very conducive for meditation. It conveys the
peacefulness of sky and ocean.

It goes well with many other colours. Use this colour for modern-day stress and anxiety.

Blue flowers add depth and strong healing vibrations to a border filled with pink, lilac, and white flowers.

Plants for shade include campanula and columbine.

For sunny areas, delphinium, lobelia and morning glory.

When planting include deep blue-grey slate, paving, granite and ceramics with vivid blue glazes.


Violet means calm. It brings a feeling of self-worth. It sometimes appears
dull unless plenty of contrast in texture, form, and tone is used.

Violet flowers are particularly useful for protection and for the cleansing vibrations they give out.

It is a rich regal colour that indicates knowledge, self-respect, spirituality, nostalgia, dignity, and wealth. Violet soothes the mind if you are tense.

Plants for shady areas include coleus and impatiens.

For sunny areas use aster, butterfly bush and salvia.

When planting, use glazed pots and implement violet coloured fabrics on garden furniture cushions and umbrellas.

Using Colour In The Garden
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