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8. How to change your garden...colour basics

Colour is another important aspect of how a garden can make us feel when we look at it and immerse ourselves within the garden.  A garden without colour is not really a garden, but just an outside space waiting to be improved. That doesn't mean that an all green garden is not a garden because green is colour which can be as exciting as garden with other colours, but more on that in the next blog.on colour.


Colour in winter can come from stems, evergreens and winter flowers


Gardens delight many of our senses but our eyes take in all the visual information from the garden. The first impact of a garden is colour and our eyes will then subsequently take in the shapes and textures mentioned in our 'How to change your garden...' blogs on 'structure',  'focal points', 'repetition' and 'height'.

Definitely a lot of colour here!


Colour is definitely a personal choice, and some people, whilst afraid to experiment with colourful clothes, feel unrestrained when it comes to colour in their garden. But there are a few colour rules that will help your garden feel more harmonious, even if you want a riot of colour. Knowing these rules will help you group colours together so they work to the best advantage and avoid colour combinations that work against each other.



To help understand colour theory, its helpful to be familiar with the colour wheel and the principles of colours.  Cast your mind back to school and remember the primary colours and how mixing these created other colours.  

The colour wheel shows how when colours are mixed, they form further colours in their own right.
Colour strength classification
This colour wheel starts to add another dimension and strength to colours


In addition to colour, there are different intensity of those colours, these are called hues, tints, tones and shades.  Using different intensities of the same colour, or combinations of colours, is a great way of adding interest to the colour palette of a garden.


There a six main colour theory rules relating to colour and colour combinations and once these concepts are understood it is easier to understand how, and why, colours can work together. 

Want more information?  Try these external links to find out more about colour theory on The Spruce and Proven Winners websites.

Our next blog in this series will look at colour combinations, in gardens, following the 6 main colour theory rules mentioned above.

Please note that photos are courtesy of either us, or various external websites.  Please click on photos and if it is from an external source, this will open in a new window.
9. How to change your garden...colour combinations
7. How to change your garden...water

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