Several forms of floral arrangements can be found in the garden, including flower beds, clumps and climbing plants. Whatever the desired presentation, the garden’s entire aesthetic lies in the arrangement of plants, according to their varieties and how their different colours blend. Contrasting for expansion or setting apart a particular area of your garden is only feasible on the condition that the flower’s colours are mixed together appropriately. 

If you want a soft and graceful blend, combine colours that are adjacent on the colour wheel.  The concept of colour is critical in the sense that its mastery is a prerequisite to the creation of a pleasant contrast.  First of all, there are three primary colours, one of which is blue, a cold colour that symbolizes calm, thinking and communication. Yellow stands for youth, happiness and light.  Red, the third primary colour, is warm and evokes passion and strength. There are also three so-called secondary colours; the first of which is orange that implies generosity and energy while combining nicely with blue. Green suggests relaxation and well-being and goes very well with red, while purple represents utopia, dream and mystery, and marries well with yellow. In the colour wheel, you can also mix the primary and secondary colours to give birth to the six tertiary colours. Turquoise is the combination of blue and green. Indigo can be obtained by mixing blue and violet, while saffron is a combination of yellow and orange. Lime green is a mixture of yellow and green. Violet blends with red to create crimson while the colour of nasturtium can be produced by mixing red with orange.

The graceful arrangement of colours

If you have a clump in the garden, opt for red flowers which give a touch of elegance. You can incorporate some diversity by integrating purple leaves to accentuate the refinement. Next, leave a little green on both sides of the bed, as not to break its bond with the surrounding plants. This may be green foliage or flowers. Pink flowers are a perfect match for silver and grey leaves, as well as coloured shades. Salmon can also make a nice contrast with magenta, orange and even blue. Orange can be married with blue tending slightly purple. Violet goes perfectly with yellow, purple, lilac and mauve. The elegance of yellow shades can be enhanced by mixing them with white or brassy grey colours.  Regarding orange flowers, it is best to put them with other apricot, purple or cream-coloured plants. However, the red shades that make up the orange are particularly significant in the sense that the stronger their presence is, the more numerous the flowers appear to be.  Therefore, if you wish for your flower bed to look as if orange makes up half of it, reduce that colour to one fourth the quantity of soft-coloured flowers.  Concerning contrast, use white, yellow, or pale-pink flowers to lighten up the bed, or blue and red colours to add depth.  As to the position of colours, maximum depth is best achieved by placing the lighter shades in the back rows and the shimmering ones in the front. Reverse these positions to obtain a broader effect.

Arranging flowers according to location

Near a terrace where one likes to relax, the predominant colour should be green as it evokes relaxation. You can vary the visual effect with plants of darker, gold, bronze, or even slightly multicoloured foliage. If you own a cottage, plant flowers in purple, blue or pink hues, as they imply romance and sweetness. Should you organize an intimate dinner, you can decorate your patio or cottage with flower pots, of which the purple strokes will give off an impression of softness and delicacy.  You can also place yellow flowers near the purple ones.  In the same spirit, mix a little purple with violet to bring out the romantic side of the place.  For a meal with friends or family, red, purple and yellow flowers contribute to a warm and hearty atmosphere.  In regard to confined corners, choose blue flowers to widen the space. Moreover, blue denotes the depth and size of the sky and ocean. Highlight that sensation of space with yellow, gold or orange hues.  This effect is best achieved when these colours are present near a body of water.

White flowers and black flowers

Some plants produce very dark flowers. Integrating black in a garden has its advantages, notably regarding the overall effect, as the rarity of this colour gives all of your flowers a touch of sophistication.  Unlike the black ones, white flowers are so common that we tend to get tired of them very quickly. And yet, the colour white is truly reminiscent of elegance and purity. Depending on which colours it is combined with, white can become dull if associated with flowers of grey foliage, whereas it looks radiant when mixed with red or purple. In addition to that, white can be merged with any colour.  In a shady corner, white flowers will stand out brightly.

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Published in Decorating guide by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011