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Design Ideas from Butchart Gardens (2): Color Combinations

September 29, 2009

Strong pinks and blues combined in the Sunken Gardens (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) My last post focused on ideas that I gleaned from the Japanese Garden at Butchart Gardens about how to create an ambiance of serenity in the garden (Design Ideas from Butchart Gardens: Creating Serenity). In this post, I want to turn my attention to design ideas about combining colors.

In a recent post in his Garden Guru blog (Stella d’Oro, The Ubiquitous Workhorse), Allan Becker noted that

Those of us who reference English gardens in our work tend to plant flowerbeds in colors of pink, blue and yellow.

Pink sedum with blue salvia (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)

These are the colors that predominate in my own garden, and they are also an important presence at Butchart Gardens. But, where I tend to combine blue and yellow or pink and yellow, Butchart Gardens designers often combine blues and pinks. The blues in these combinations are usually strong blues, the pinks vary from pale pink to deep pink, and these combinations are often leavened with either white flowers Blue and white with pink accents (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)(as in the photos at the top of the page and below) or with silver foliage plants like artemesia.

I found these pink and blue combinations very appealing and am eager to try them out in my own garden.

A pleasing combinations of red and yellow flowers (photo credit: Jean Potuchek) I was also interested in the way that hot colors, colors more characteristic of tropical gardens, were combined at Butchart Gardens. Right now, I don’t have any flower beds that feature hot colors, but I would like add at least one when I landscape the front of the house in the next few years.  At Butchart Gardens, Yellow rudbeckia with red begonia (photo credit: Jean Potuchek)red was the predominant color in these plantings, and it was most often combined with yellows.

Currently, I don’t have any red flowers at all in my garden, and these plantings gave me ideas about how to include them.

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