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Colour Schemes


 
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Hosta Frequency Kenneth
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 17 Feb 2013
Posts: 44
Location: East Cork

PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 4:42 pm    Post subject: Colour Schemes Reply with quote

Hi, I'm just wondering if anyone has thoughts on colour schemes for gardens. I've looked up a bit about mixing colours and I've discovered the following advice.

1. It's good to mix colours from opposite sides of the colour wheel, eg blue and green, or purple and yellow.

2. It's also good to mix colours from three sides of the wheel, eg red blue and yellow

3. It's also good to mix colours that are adjacent on the colour wheel, eg red and orange.

So basically the colour wheel says you can mix anything.

You hear gardeners talking about hot borders, reds and yellows, and cool borders, blues, whites and pastels. This is very general and doesn't give me much more insight into colour blending.

A few weeks ago on gardener's world I saw Monty Don talking about a marigold, and their lovely orange colour. He said that it would look great anywhere...except beside pink. This got me wondering...how does he know this? Is it his opinion or is it common knowledge? And are there any other obvious no nos when it comes to colour combinations?
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Sive
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's all down to personal preference....and experience. Sometimes it's only when something jars horribly on the eye that you suddenly decide you really can't stand a particular combination.
I think you can get away with a lot when you have plenty of green to act as a unifying colour. And anyway something you really like this year may seem boring ( or ugly ) in 5 years' time.
Just have fun and ignore the style police, do what makes your heart sing.
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Good guy
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 11 Feb 2013
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Location: Donegal

PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a retired teacher of art, design and ceramics, of some 35 years standing, I think I am qualified to pontificate on this one.
Yup, you are absolutely right, Sive.
Go for it, HKF.
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Geranimojess
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 22 Jun 2010
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Location: N/W Sligo

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto here...whats pleasing to one is not to another but to hell with everyone else as long as your happy that the great thing about Gardening....if we all followed the same trend and were all alike it would be a very dull world.

You go your way and do what you want...Monty Don is a professional and goes by the book....you write your own...
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Hosta Frequency Kenneth
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 17 Feb 2013
Posts: 44
Location: East Cork

PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your responses...I like the idea of going with whatever I think looks right, but at the moment I think most plants and colours look good together. I was kind of hoping for more specific colour combinations or definite no nos that people can tell me about, even if it's just their personal opinions.

I looked this up on several sites and I kept finding the colour wheel, which is not really helpful.

Thanks!
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Sive
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure why you don't find the colour wheel helpful. Colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel will give you a harmonious mixture.....so, for instance, magenta, violet & purple will blend well, but if you want to throw in a contrasting colour, to liven things up or even shock the eye you choose a colour on the direct opposite of the wheel, such as yellow. That yellow flower will sing out in an amazing way.
Put that very same yellow flower in amongst the greens and orangey-yellows beside it on the colour wheel and it will blend beautifully and not look anywhere as powerful.
This is a good starting point.....try a harmonious bed and a crazy, contrasting bed and sit back and see which you prefer.
You sound as if you want some kind of formula, but really the colour wheel IS the starting point for any discussion on colour whether you're an artist, a designer or a gardener. But only a starting point.....
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Hosta Frequency Kenneth
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 17 Feb 2013
Posts: 44
Location: East Cork

PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sive,
I think that when people explain how the colour wheel works they always end up with saying, "see which one you prefer"...It doesn't really narrow down the choices for me. It doesn't tell me what works and what doesn't work, it tells me that I can pick what I like. If I had loads of time, space and money I would be able to plant away and experiment until I found what I like.

I see what you are saying about the yellow contrasting or blending, I suppose if I had a single feature plant such as lily or a giant sunflower I would surround it with opposite colours to highlight it, but if I had a more plentiful yellow flower in a big drift such as daffodils I could put a similar colour drift beside it to create a harmonious blend.

You are right, I am looking for a formula. There seems to be formulas when talking about structure (rule of thirds, mix different heights, focal points), textures, repetition, (draw the eye towards objects that look the same instead of just having one of everything), seasonal interest - (don't have everything blooming at the same time) I also know that to have a unified and coherent looking bed it is good to exercise restraint and stick to a palette of 2 or 3 colours rather than throwing in everything, so this is why I am asking for people's suggestions and preferences.

If we were talking about clothes people would say never wear navy with black, or purple with orange, if were talking about music they might say mix notes from the same chord and sing them in tune rather than out of tune, they usually sound better together, if we were talking about web design we might talk about what colour combinations will be harsh to the eye on a web page...etc.

I guess what I'm looking for are specific suggestions of what colours people think work together or any particular no nos that they can tell me about, even if it's just their personal opinions...i.e. actual examples!

(Here's one of mine...I think that the tall brown and red spikes of Lobelia Queen Victoria look good standing behind hostas)

Thanks!
HFK
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