A couple of entries ago, we talked about color. The way in which color can be used as a unifying element in planting design. While color can be an 'easy' way to unify your design work, it requires attention and a deliberate focus. That can be tricky when working with plants. You can't pull out the color wheel and put the bloom colors side by side to choose your plant combinations. Them there's also that element of timing - do they bloom together? And how do they look as they approach and fade from peak bloom?
I recall a visit to Sissinghurst Gardens some years ago. It was amazing and something of note, to see how carefully the planting designers had chosen and paired bloom colors in perennials, annuals, bulbs, shrubs and foliage. It stopped me in my tracks! Not sure if these combinations will do quite that for you, but have a look at some successful combinations in our gardens this week. Beginning to notice color hue, intensity, saturation, changes as blooms fade and all the subtle qualities of color is a start to a more refined and inspirational planting design.
Vibrant, vivid purple blue, bright, energetic, excellent pairing Geranium Jolly Bee & Stachys Hummelo
Contrasting blue and yellow, primary colors, medium vibrancy
Phlox 'Blue Paradise', Salvia 'Wesuwe' & Amsonia hubrichtii
Yellow and pale lavendar, calming colors, pale hue - an improvement would be to eliminate the blue Veronica
Coreopsis 'Sienna Sunset' & Veronica 'Purpleicious'
Pair the next two plants for a vibrant, energizing coupling of pink on pink
Achillea 'Pink Grapefruit'
The Dark stemmed Echinacea is 'Pica Bella'
A monochromatic relationship, lavendar, pink, purplish pink, all in the family - plus the unifying element of flower shape and form
Achillea trials on Perennal Island
From top to bottom:
Shades of yellow into green, side by side on the color wheel, calming and refined
Alchemilla mollis & Hosta 'August Moon'
Scarlet Flower Carpet Rose with Sedum Angelina
An interesting exercise in the relationsip between pink and red. Red is often a challenge, especially in plants - is it red red, blue red, pink red or purple red? This photo illustrates the power of a color backdrop.
Echinacea & Red Flower Carpet Rose
Pairing of orange foliage with orange flowers - the entire planting is offset with the Salvia's blue, great complimentary contrast, medium intensity of color pulls the entire composition together
Echinacea Orange Meadowbrite & Heuchera Caramel