Gardening Tips > September > Simple colour techniques for your seasonal containers

Simple colour techniques for your seasonal containers

If you’re beginning to replace your summer containers with autumn/winter bedding, or you’re new to gardening and like the idea of planting some seasonal pansies and cyclamen, why not refer to a colour wheel to help you achieve more satisfying results. A Colour Wheel is a useful tool that helps us to think about how colours work together in the garden. Particular relationships between colours will offer different results.

Once you’ve picked a colour you like, you can start thinking about combinations, as follows:

  1. Tonal – One colour but in varying tints and tones to achieve a subtle look.
  2. Using the colour wheel in potted containers
  1. Harmonious – Colours that are next to each other and are closely related. Work with 2-3 colours that are adjacent to each other (red, orange, yellow, or blue and purple) to create a gentle yet sophisticated ‘less is more’ design.
  2. Contrasting – Colours that are furthest apart. Use two colours opposite each other on the colour wheel (purple and yellow, green and red or orange and blue). These colours complement each other perfectly and will seem brighter and more eye-catching than on their own. Complementary colour schemes give a more dramatic look and often work best when used sparingly. Allowing one colour to dominate and utilising the second colour to set it off often works better than trying to make both colours compete to be noticed.

The key is to simplify your colour scheme and avoid the chaos of too many colours. But more importantly have fun!

Colour wheel

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