Adding color to the landscape through the use of plants, decorations and decorative pots can help accentuate key features of your home or landscape. Color can also help breakup the monotony of a predominately turf grass landscape or plain home.
Very few of us are landscape architects or professional designers, but we all have an eye for things we like. When it comes to purchasing plants and moving them three times before we are sure they are in the correct place, we all have our own specific style and colors.
When adding color in any form to the landscape, there are just a few key things to remember.
The color wheel is extremely helpful for understanding how certain colors complement or clash with each other. For instance, opposite, or complementary, colors on the color wheel tend to work well together. Try color combinations of red and green, purple and yellow or blue and orange for a brilliant pop of color. If you want to learn more about the color wheel, quick research will help you find in-depth information on perfect color combinations and color schemes.
Colors also have a unique way of affecting our mood and emotions depending on their hue. We often design our gardens to make us happy where we can “stop and smell the roses.” Blues, purples and whites are considered cool colors and are believed to calm the senses. Reds, oranges and yellows are hot or warm colors that can bring bright and happy energy to a space.
We often think about the colors of flowers or plants, but adding pops of color and texture with pots or containers can also brighten up an area. Patios and landscapes can pop with colored pots filled with contrasting flowering plants. Placing an aquamarine textured pot with purple, pink and blue flowers can create interest and provide a relaxing setting to a shady garden or patio. Another idea is to actually place brightly colored pots with or without plants in different areas of the yard. Depending on the material of the pot, you can easily convert it into a seasonal water feature. There are so many options for color and design, a little research will help you find what works for you.
When choosing pots, remember to not just look at the color, but also keep in mind usefulness. If you are going to use it for plants, then consider the material and if it will work in the location you have chosen. Clay is probably one of the most popular and least expensive materials, but clay pots need to be sealed or painted; otherwise, they wick moisture out of the soil and away from plant roots. There are many options other than clay, including ceramic, double wall plastic, wood and metal. Get creative this summer and try playing with color combinations of plants and pots for fun pops of color and interesting or relaxing spaces.
Wendy Hanson Mazet is the horticulture program coordinator for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension in Washoe County. Have questions about your plants? Contact a master gardener at 775-336-0265 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.growyourownnevada.com.
As Master Gardener Program Coordinator, Wendy leads many volunteer horticulture programs including the Northern Nevada Master Gardener Program, Advanced Master Gardener Training Program, Advanced Master Gardener Greenhouse Program and Annual Master Gardener Plant Faire Extravaganza.
She also offers basic and advanced horticulture classes to arborists, green industry professionals and the general public. One of her most well-known programs is the Gardening in Nevada: Bartley Ranch Series, which offers free gardening classes at Bartley Ranch Regional Park in Reno every February and March.
Wendy’s Contact information:
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
Northern Area/Washoe County Office
4955 Energy Way
Reno, Nevada 89502
Ph: (775) 336-0246, direct line
Ph: (775) 784-4848, main line
Fax: (775) 784-4881