How to Use Different Color Flowers in Your Garden

Yellow Kerria flowers in bloom.

Koichi Oda / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Flowering plants run the gamut not only in terms of color but also in the plant type. There are flowering annuals and perennials, trees and shrubs, and even vines. Besides blooms, plants can also have nicely colored foliage, seeds, or berries as well as floral and foliar textures that range from coarse to fine. Finally, different plants bloom or otherwise display at different times of the year. Keep all of these features in mind when plotting a new color course for your landscape.

  • 01 of 10

    Yellow Flowers

    Yellow Iceland poppy flower.

    David Beaulieu

    Yellow brings cheers to a yard, and there are numerous possibilities for color combinations involving these "little pieces of sunshine." For example, pair the combo of yellow blooms and plants with dark foliage.

  • 02 of 10

    Red Flowers

    Red hibiscus in bloom.

    Jozsef Sandor Benkovics / Getty Images

    When planting flowers, some color schemes work better than others for a particular bed, depending upon what you hope to achieve. Cool colors, such as blue, are best for encouraging reflection (as in a meditation garden). But if you wish to attract attention to an area, such as a walkway that visitors seem to have trouble finding, then red is an excellent choice.

  • 03 of 10

    Blue Flowers

    Blue Gentian sage in bloom with insect flying nearby.

    Anna Yu / Getty Images

    How you use color in a garden can influence your moods when you gaze upon that space in your yard. Blue is considered a "cool color," which tend to have a relaxing effect. If your yard is used as a retreat in which to unwind and relax, blue flowers are a great choice.

    Of course, your fondness for blue goes can go beyond its soothing effect. For many people, blue is simply a favorite color. Truly blue blossoms are also relatively rare; and, as is so often the case in human life, people tend to place a higher value on that which is more difficult to find.

  • 04 of 10

    Purple Flowers

    Tall purple allium flowers in bloom.

    Motty Levy / Getty Images

    Every floral color has a fan base. Some gardeners love yellows, reds, and oranges for their ability to light up an otherwise drab area of the yard with vibrant color. For others, looking for more subdued colors, soft pink or lavender may be favorites.

    But purple blossoms seem to be in a league of their own when it comes to eliciting oohs and ahs from gardeners. Remember, purple was traditionally the color of royalty. Purple is also considered one of the cool colors that help people relax.

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  • 05 of 10

    Orange Flowers

    Calceolaria, Lady's Purse or Slipper in bloom.

    Frank Sommariva / Getty Images

    Orange, along with red and yellow, is considered one of the "warm colors." Blossoms in these colors will be the real eye-catchers of the yard. Orange is a born attention-grabber; if you wish to draw visitors into a space, create a focal point by planting plants with orange blossoms en masse.

  • 06 of 10

    Black Flowers

    Black hollyhocks in bloom.

    Cora Niele / Getty Images

    There's no reason why green thumbs can't grow black plants. Many longtime gardeners seek so-called "black" plants for the novelty of it. Others, who love to play with colors to achieve interesting designs, appreciate the exciting contrasts that are possible with black plants. Imagine, for example, a spring planting bed featuring tulip plants with red, yellow, and black blossoms. Still, others attribute their fascination with this color to their interest in the symbolism of plants such as black roses.

  • 07 of 10

    White Flowers

    Wild mountain laurel in full bloom.

    Sinisa Kukic / Getty Images

    Like the Swiss, white is neutral. This means you can use it to transition between plants of stronger colors. You don't have to worry that white blossoms will clash with blooms of other colors. Also, think of all the design possibilities (e.g., a black-and-white theme), including their use in ​moon gardens (gardens designed for nighttime viewing).

  • 08 of 10

    Plants With Silver Foliage

    Silver Artemisia and pink geranium in bloom.

    R A Kearton / Getty Images

    You've probably heard the saying, "All that glitters is not gold." It's true: some of it is silver! Just as shrubs such as Gold Mops add color to a landscape with their golden foliage, smaller plants with silver foliage can please the eye month after month.

    Plants grown mainly for their foliage—whether their leaves are silver, gold, green, or variegated—can add color throughout the year, unlike the ephemeral hues of flowers.

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  • 09 of 10

    Lavender Flowers

    Purple pasqueflower with orange center in bloom.

    AlpamayoPhoto / Getty Images

    Like lilac, lavender is both a color and a type of plant. Lilac and lavender are similar colors that are often confused. The difference is that lilac is warmer and tends toward pink or red, while lavender is cooler and tends toward blue. Examples of early blooming plants with lavender flowers include crocus, pasqueflower, and creeping phlox.

  • 10 of 10

    Pink Flowers

    Pink mandevilla in bloom.

    John Burke / Getty Images

    Pink flower blossoms, like red, can have a "notice me" quality yet often are more subdued than red. Light pink blossoms can approach a whitish color and function as a neutral, in a pinch. A deep pink color, on the other hand, attracts more attention and can be a focal point when planted en masse.