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Article: Picking a garden color scheme: Color Wheels

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Forum: Article: Picking a garden color schemeReplies: 8, Views: 101
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February 9, 2009
11:44 AM

Post #6113799

As I am in the midst both of laying out [i.e. planning, at the moment] some new gardens and planting seeds for the flowers to populate them, your article could not have come at a better time! However, I admit to some confusion. You included some great color charts (kind of like paint-shops' color chips) in your article, but no "color wheel". So I went looking for wheels, but the most common seems to be a "12-Step" Color Wheel (is it "withdrawing" from something? Black and White, perhaps, as they don't appear [and I have several white flowers!]). When I use that and try the "within 3 wedges" rule or the "adjacent" colors for "split complements", that wheel yields different combos than you suggest.

Can you help a "colour illiterate" and maybe steer me to a GOOD color wheel? Although I really am essentially a "visual" thinker, colours and their "artistic" combinations have always been difficult for me!

Thanks for this interesting piece!

(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

February 9, 2009
2:15 PM

Post #6114255

Here's one I received from my daughter as a gift. It's easy to use and easy to see the colors we enjoy putting together.

My other thought would be Pamela Harper's book, Color Echoes, which now can be purchased for a pittance. It's such a huge help with putting colors together and harmonizing the garden.

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Central, VA
(Zone 7b)

February 9, 2009
10:08 PM

Post #6116426

I Googled the color wheel online and this particular one that Pirl has is available at the following address for $15.00 which includes shipping:

Sorry, I've forgotten how to add this as a link.

Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 10, 2009
1:50 AM

Post #6117487

Suzanne, I absolutely love your description of choosing colors that work well together. You are an artist and have done the excellent work of an artist. But when it comes to flowers, of course having a coordinated colors can be lovely -- like the blue and white garden you described, but for me, there is no such thing as colors that don't go together. For me I enjoy a riot of color, every color rivaling another. Red, magenta, pink, orange and everything else mixed in like a big pile of vegetables freshly arrived from the farmers market. Color coordination is great for those who want to do it, but I prefer everything mixed up.
Saint David, AZ
(Zone 8a)

February 10, 2009
5:15 PM

Post #6120113

And this one is on line and is fabulous - easy to use and endless colors


February 10, 2009
5:36 PM

Post #6120184

Thanks for all the suggestions.
I love the one you recommended, fiberholic. It IS easy to use, and suggests a lot of colors that are actually in my seed packets!

I'd love the Harper book, Pirl, but the "pittance" from Amazon/fr is 70 Euros (almost US$100.00!) Maybe someone will buy it for ma as a Christmas gift for NEXT Year's garden!

I'm really going to play around with the Color Scheme Designer, as it automatically makes the complements, the split complements, and something it call "tetrads". Really fun to play with!
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

February 10, 2009
10:38 PM

Post #6121288

I'll try the link next.

Here we can often buy it for $1.99. Keep a check on it and you'll see how prices do fluctuate.
Colorado Springs, CO
(Zone 6a)

February 14, 2009
6:14 PM

Post #6138215

Great suggestions everyone! Potagere, I have to admit I didn't know there was such a thing as a gardening color wheel until everyone posted their favorites. Color has always come second nature to me, and the only color wheel I've used is Dial a Color
which is a teaching tool.

With that said ... I generally fall under Pajarito's category of liking what I like and not really bothering to make a plan. LOL! I've got all the theory down pat, but I don't follow it to save my life. :) I really like to help others if they like to make color schemes, but my personal garden is kind of a mix of everything though mainly blues, purples, reds, and pinks.
Los Alamos, NM
(Zone 5a)

February 14, 2009
7:55 PM

Post #6138633

You know, art_ that I do notice that color planned gardens are very pretty. I just think that is sort of formal. My garden probably lacks artistic characteristics, but it gives me a great excuse to dig in the mud and to try new plants -- and to revel in some of the old ones.
If I ever had a big enough piece of land and enough soil -- I would probably have a blue and white iris garden and one that was all different shades of pink, red and orange -- clashing red based colors put together really appeal to me.

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