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A Splash of Garden Color (Even Without Flowers)
I spent many years at Sunset Magazine writing about the fabulous gardens and innovative designers throughout the West. Now, my passion is environmental sustainability—both in gardens and buildings.
I spent many years at Sunset Magazine writing about the fabulous gardens... More »
Just about every gardener I know loves colorful flowers. But flowers are seasonal and often fleeting. For year-round color without the maintenance, try adding splashes of color to the landscape using paint and fun accessories. Choose tones that reflect the shades of your favorite foliage. Or if you're more daring, go bold with colors, such as bright red or yellow. Use paint to brighten up garden walls and benches, or stick to colored accents using pillows, furniture, and pottery. Keep in mind that you don't have to be tentative. Unlike tile or paving, everything can easily be renovated as styles change.
One simple orange accent placed against a gray concrete wall is all that this garden needed to bring the whole scene to life. "Adding bright pillows or painting a wall makes the foliage colors more noticeable," explains Ive Haugeland of Shades of Green Landscape Architecture. "It gives you lots of bang for the buck."
Like a fire engine speeding down the street, you can't miss this red wall. But then that’s the point! Patterned pillows add a striking accent.
Part sculpture and part entertainment, this climbing wall is a great way to bring some fun into the garden.
Blue is an obvious favorite color in the garden. Why? Because it complements green foliage so well. This low blue seat wall livens up a neutral-colored stone patio.
In another section of the garden shown above, the blue wall is a great backdrop for a rusted metal fountain and 'Tropicana' cannas.
Who would have thought that green and red bocce balls could add such a spark of color to a garden? Amidst the rusted metal raised beds and brown gravel path, they're a real standout.
There's nothing subtle about these bright blue chaise lounges. But they work perfectly amidst this neutral setting of browns and tans. The orange pot in between adds a little extra fun.
A blue wall is this Pacific Northwest garden helps brighten up overcast days. It’s also the perfect backdrop for foliage containers filled with cannas, crotons, coleus and other tropical-looking plants.
Ideabook published on Nov. 22, 2010.
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