Nature soothes the soul. Imagine a room with concrete, bricks, wood, and metal accents. Seems quite lifeless, isn’t it? Now, place a plant in the corner of the room’s windowsill and watch the room brighten up in a heartbeat. There is nothing more visually striking than greenery. Similar to the way a room needs a hint of color to breathe life into it, every home needs a garden to beautify it.
Every aspect of our lives craves contrast because it aids balance. However, all things work best in moderation for too much contrast is a recipe for disaster and is more unsettling than pleasing. Contrasts help set parallels to spark visual interest. A beautiful garden features contrasts, be it in color, size, texture, or form. All gardens are green, but a scattering of vivid and brightly colored flowers make all the difference in the world.
Here are some ways in which you can play with contrasts to make your garden more beautiful.
- Contrasting Hues
A simple play on colors can spice up an otherwise dull monochrome palette. The color wheel is your best buddy when it comes to designing an attractive garden palette. Achieve the perfect contrast by combining complementing colors. Complementing colors lie on opposite ends of the color wheel. When paired together, these colors appear brighter and enhanced. Orange pairs brilliantly with blue, red contrasts with green, whereas yellow works best with purple, because these colors oppose each other on the color wheel.
Let us discuss these stunning color and plant combinations.
- Red and Green
For the perfect summer display of color, use a hint of red in a bed of green. Red and green portray a classic color combination. Green exudes a calm and soothing aura that marries the vibrant heat of red in a harmonious yet bright union. Some of the most stunning red flowers include the Bessera Elegans, Gladioli Holland Pearl, and the Clematis Ville de Lyon. These flowers add a fiery pop of color to a variety of glossy greens such as the Asarum Europaeum, Euphorbia Martinii, and Chive Staro.
- Blue and Orange
There is something so undeniably electric about orange and blue together that you just cannot look away. In a sea of cool blue blooms a bright and warm orange to create a contrast that makes the dead come to life. Some vibrant pairings include the hot orange Crocosmia Mistral funnel-shaped blooms paired beautifully with silver-blue Festuca’ Elijah Blue’.
Similarly, the Hemerocallis Apricot Beauty sets the perfect contrast with the blue flowers of the Campanula Glomerata Superba. If you are looking for something darker, the spikey orange flowers of the Dahlia Ludwig Helfert add the perfect pop of color against the deep blue flowers of the Agapanthus Back in Black.
- Yellow and Purple
Yellow is a happy color. Purple, on the other hand, is deep, sultry, mysterious, and majestic. This pairing is one that awakens the senses like no other. For the perfect yellow and purple color palette, try pairing Lavender Little Lady with bright yellow Echinacea Golden Skipper or luscious blue Hydrangea Zaza with the pale yellow Foxglove. Similarly, the sunny Crocosmia Sunglow’s funnel-shaped blooms look ethereal with purple Geranium Birch Double flowers.
- Contrasting Textures
Nature is truly exquisite. No two leaves look or feel the same. Different shapes and textures surround us. Some round and leathery, others blade-like and pointy, there are countless forms that we love and cherish. The same rule applies to flowers.
Coarse foliage is bold and beautiful, unabashedly craving attention, which is why it is used as the main centerpiece. Fine foliage is much softer and timid, an accessory that gives a landscape personality and character.
It is essential to use a good assortment of plants varying from those with coarse foliage, i.e., broad or large leaves, to those with fine foliage, i.e., small and narrow leaves, to attain a sound contrast in foliage texture. The use of different foliage helps enhance the plant’s features, thereby making it more prominent.
- Contrasting Size
Size refers to the plant’s height and spread. Large plants are devised into trees and taller shrubs whereas landscaping shrubs fall into the medium-sized plants category. Low-growing plants, on the other hand, classify groundcover plants.
For contrasting sizes, find plants of varying heights. Remember to keep the plant sizes proportionate to the nearby structures. From towering trees to intricate vines to tiny bushes, using plants of varying heights and dimensions add variety and character to a plain landscape. It is interesting to interlace plants of similar elevations and create a circuitous pattern.
Formal gardens generally feature a stark division of layers separating the small, medium, and large plants from each other. Unless you are designing a formal background, for a more visually alluring scenery, use a healthy mix of all three.
- Contrasting Plant Forms
The form refers to the shape of the plant. Trees come in different shapes. There are round, pyramidal, columnar, and many others. Similarly, shrubs also come in various forms such as arching, spikey, cascading, irregular, rounded, etc. As for smaller groundcover plants, they can be spread out, sprawling, or clumped.
To curate an appealing visual contrast, combine an array of plants of different forms. Fix a columnar plant with a mix of shrubs and groundcover to attract attention and tie the whole piece together. For instance, the Echinacea After Midnight looks similar to daisies, whereas the Phlox Paniculata Pink’s florets appear pyramidal in shape. The two, when paired together, create a unique shape and color combo. Choose to be adventurous with your pairings.
What to Look Out For
While gardening is super fun, there is one aspect of it that does not excite anyone, and those are pests. Pests are the unwanted guests that show up to your dinner party only to make you feel embarrassed and eat all your food. Maintaining a garden is no easy task, and one of the biggest obstacles you must combat is pests.
You can control these monstrosities from spreading in many ways. An infallible way to get the job done is by using pesticides or any bug killer. While pesticides are effective, they can be quite damaging to your health as well as the environment. For that reason, you now can choose from a selection of pesticides that are not only natural but also non-toxic and thus 100% safe to use.
Do not wait around for these pests to take action because once they take control, you can kiss your garden goodbye. Use pesticides regularly as a preventive measure for the best results.
Gardening is an art in which you use an array of colors and textures to create your own picturesque painting. The best pictures are those that use bold colors and contrasts. Paint your portrait using nature and do not be afraid to get creative with it.
ABOUT Alycia Gordan Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia