[DESIGN SHOW 9] – Plant Colour Schemes

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The Plant Design Workshop that Rachel mentions in this episode is: http://www.successfulgardendesign.com/plant-design-workshop/

Plant Colour Schemes

In this video, Rachel will talk about color schemes and stunning color combinations without having to know anything about color theory.

Rachel first features her parent’s garden from last week’s episode, the problem boarder with the giant leylandii hedge and she will give you the answer to last week’s question.

She will then discuss starting a planting plan, beginning with measuring the border and putting it in paper. After that, she will show you how she planned the color scheme of the plants. She makes a list of plants that’s in the color scheme that will flower in July and August and then she will work out what would blend with the colors in the garden.

A cunning trick to avoid colour clashes in the garden!

There’s always a plant or two that is the wrong colour, in the wrong place in the garden. With smaller plants you can easily move them, but with larger specimens, that can’t be moved, you need to find a way to pacify the offending colour.

The best colours to pacify are blue, purple and to a lesser degree, green and white, can also be helpful. So for example if you have a yellow shrub, in a border that is predominantly pink, if you add blue or purple foliage or flowering plants between the yellow and the pink, it will help avoid the clash.

Pacifying colours work because they help blend strong colours. They are also colours that go with everything, so they are the bridge between other strong colours.

How to do you create stunning colour combinations?

Creating really good colour schemes is definitely an art. Choosing plants that have great flower and foliage combinations can be tricky to achieve. There’s loads of books on color theory which are in depth and you can spend plenty of time studying them. There is however, a much quicker method that requires NO studying whatsoever…

Borrowing colour schemes that talented colour experts like fashion designers and artists have already come up with, is a great way to get colour combinations that work.

What Would You Like to See Covered in Future Shows?

Rachel would love to get your ideas for future shows so that this can be as beneficial to you as possible. Leave a comment me know what topics you’d like me to delve into in future episodes in the comment boxes below?

You can also subscribe to the Garden Design Show on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/garden-design-show/id790250905?mt=2

Download your FREE landscaping design guide here: http://successfulgardendesign.com/help-guide

Competition time!

If you’d like a chance to win the fabulous Plant Design Formula course, just create a video and pop it on YouTube showing your garden colour combinations – you can use anything from around the house to demonstrate the colours you like most. Extra points if you can fling more of your wardrobe into the garden than Rachel managed! 😉

Here’s our first entry!

Just leave the link to your video in the comment box below!

What did you think of the garden design show? Any questions or comments?

Leave your thoughts in the comments box below and please share this video!



About Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 20 years. My mission is to de-mystify garden design and make it easy for people to successfully design their own garden - without needing to spend a fortune!


  1. Successful Garden Design says:

    Some crazy ideas on how to get the right colour scheme in your garden!

  2. Ingrid Waymark says:

    Excellent garden design segment, Rachel. Love your approach to colour combining!
    Thank you.

  3. Veronika T. says:

    Dear Rachel, thank you for all the great tips you are providing in your show. Your explanations are really quick to understand and insightful. And the comparisons of designing a garden to baking a cake, or building a house etc – priceless!!!! Love it! Please continue with the great job your are doing, I will be waiting for your next episode. 🙂

  4. Gill Martin says:

    Sorry Rachel, my mistake. I have managed to get sound. Great episode. Again. Gill M.

    • Hi Gill, glad you have been able to sort the sound out ok – can you tell me what you did as I’ve had someone else say they’ve experienced issues. It’s worked fine on my computer so I haven’t been able to help!

  5. Thanks Ingrid, glad you enjoyed the colour combining episode! 🙂

  6. Ryan Upton says:

    Which i found this a year ago haha
    I love your videos they are extremely helpful and ispiring!

  7. I really like your videos! But the quality is off, just wish it was more
    focused, 720p or 1080p. it is quite blurry now.

  8. I really like your videos! But the quality is off, just wish it was more focused, 720p or 1080p. it is quite blurry now.

  9. overtherainbow andbeyond says:

    Love the flower combination from the picture! Very interesting, thank you.

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