The Colorful Garden

Reaching the level of garden greatness, when color is a constant companion is no small accomplishment. When I was new at this hobby, AKA obsession, I thought all the articles on creating year-round color in the garden were a bit much. I mean, how hard could it be, we are planting flowers, right?!? Then I wised up and realized color in all seasons takes planning, a good eye for design and a willingness to go beyond your comfort zone.

My earliest gardens were full of perennials and accentuated with a few annuals. The spring and summer were awash with color. But fall was a little ho-hum. The autumn months improved considerably when I learned to leave spent flower heads on plants which look great in the fall and winter and I started to incorporate small shrubs with good fall foliage.

Color is also in our garden accessories. These gardens have great color, eye-popping color due in part to garden decor and structures. These gardens have many valuable lessons to share with us. The color in the garden is not solely dependent on the garden elements; rather the elements highlight and accentuate. The accents are much like a good supporting actress who does not take center stage but makes the film complete.

The accents should be in keeping with the garden. A quirky garden fairy would look pretty daft in a Japanese meditation garden. 

Garden elements let us express a bit more of our creative, whimsical side. Just like a person is not always calm, serious or gregarious, a garden too can have a many qualities. But just like a person you want to spend time with, a garden's qualities should work well together to create an environment that brings peace, joy, comfort, happiness or thoughtfulness.

Delicate glass balls add elegance and color in a secret, shady spot.

Architectural structures are color coordinated with the planting.

Mums and blue vessel in a Chicago garden.


  1. The blue urn and mums are a nice composition.

  2. mark, it was a nice space to stop and enjoy for a while in the garden. ~ Jenny

  3. I love the color coordinated structures. Very nice work.

  4. Lovely gardens...love all the colors...a great place to spend some time.