There are certain garden design principles in a well-designed landscape. Structure, shape, texture, scent, movement and color are all aspects to consider. For most of us, color is probably the most important aspect.
While researching for this article, I googled “Using the Color Wheel in Garden Design” and found many articles describing how using the color wheel helps in choosing colors and colors. plants in garden design. An example can be found at: https://gardenbite.com/color-wheel-in-garden-design/.
Considering your feelings can help with choosing colors as different colors can invoke different feelings https://www.gardendesign.com/ideas/color.html. Research has shown that being surrounded by flowers increases feelings of well-being and reduces stress, so the colors chosen can be healthy. The color wheel can help select complementary or analogous colors based on your color desires.
There are also the gardener’s preferences, the colors he likes and dislikes to take into account when designing landscapes. Some may like a monochromatic approach where variations on a single color are the first choice. A famous monochromatic white garden was created by Vita Sackville-West and her husband, Harold Nicolson at Sissinghurst Castle in England from the 1930s. They created a new system of garden rooms one of which was the white garden with plants with entirely white flowers. A recommendation for monochromatic gardens is to use the texture of foliage and flowers to add interest.
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Warm colors like red, yellow and orange grab your attention and are exciting and energizing. In general, dark, cool colors like purple and blue fade in a landscape, and lighter colors tend to be more prominent. Cool recessed colors are useful for making small spaces appear larger, and bolder warm colors make large spaces appear smaller. Cool colors are also soothing and soothing.
White is neutral and not even considered a color by everyone. However, it can be put to good use with many color combinations and definitely grabs your attention. In my own garden I have lots of spring flowering white plants which I appreciate although it is not a monochromatic white garden. I have three tall Spirea shrubs that are probably ‘Bridal Wreath’ cultivars that were recently in full bloom. Next to one is a large cluster of white calla lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) also blooming. In addition to the Spireas, there is a large white camellia.
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A snowball bush that is probably the Japanese snowball (Viburnum plicatum) is now blooming with large, snowball-sized flowers. The flowers started out a chartreuse green and gradually turned white. It is a great addition to any landscape and is quite drought tolerant once established and can also handle shade as mine is under a large oak tree.
Smaller flecks of white are provided by Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens), a dense, low-growing white bloom that looks great in the front of the border. Another low growing white flower is the Santa Barbara daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus) which is actually native to Mexico and not Santa Barbara and is sometimes called the Mexican daisy. The previous owner, another master gardener, planted it in several places in the landscape. It seems to do well in the valley heat in shade or sun and has lots of little daisy flowers that start out pink then turn white when in full bloom.
An additional white bloom is a pink jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum) that I planted 3 years ago. Unlike the last one I had which was in a container; I planted this one in the ground under a pyramid trellis. It took a while to establish and this is the first year it has flowered. The name pink jasmine is based on the color of the flower buds which are deep pink, but it opens to a fragrant white flower.
White roses also add bright spots to the landscape and rose garden. I have about four white roses and one is a Rugosa hybrid rose which is aptly named “Polar Ice”. It is truly an atypical rose, unlike hybrid tea or grandiflora. It was developed in Latvia in 1973 and came to the United States in 2005.
Whatever other colors you enjoy, you can brighten up your landscape with white bloomers.
If you have a gardening-related question, you can contact UC Master Gardeners at 209-953-6112. More information can be found on our website: http://sjmastergardeners.ucanr.edu/CONTACT_US/.