Colour in the Garden


Colour affects our emotions, moods, physical, and spiritual well-being. It 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. The colours we prefer for home interiors carried out to the garden, provide continuity between our interior and exterior living spaces. 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.

Red creates vitality. It tends to command attention and will make areas seem smaller. It is a good colour for dining areas as it increases appetite. It 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. To augment your plantings use glazed pots, red sandstone gravel, red clay bricks or tiles will bring that vitality to your landscape.

Orange means 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. Materials to augment plantings include terracotta pots, ornaments, rusting metal, golden gravel, and clay bricks.

Yellow means contentment. It represents the power of the sun, increases the feeling of space. It brings a sense of well-being to the garden even on grey, dull days. 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 hostas. For sunny areas try day lilies, potentilla and yarrow. Materials to augment plantings include reconstituted stone containers, ornaments, golden sandstone gravel, and buff paving.

Green means growth. It is a primary healing colour. 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. To augment plantings 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 combines 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. Materials to augment 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 are used. 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. It will help soothe the mind if you are tense. Plants for shady areas include coleus and impatiens. For sunny areas use aster, butterfly bush and salvia. To augment the planting use glazed pots, dyed fabrics used on garden furniture and umbrellas.

Gwen Nyhus Stewart, B.S.W., M.G., H.T., is an educator, freelance writer, garden consultant, and author of the book The Healing Garden: A Place Of Peace - Gardening For The Soil, Gardening For The Soul and the booklet Non-toxic Alternatives For Everyday Cleaning And Gardening Products. She owns the website Gwen's Healing Garden where you will find lots of free information about gardening for the soil and gardening for the soul. To find out more about the books and subscribe to her free Newsletter visit www.gwenshealinggarden.ca">http://www.gwenshealinggarden.ca

Gwen Nyhus Stewart © 2004 - 2005. All rights reserved.



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