[DESIGN SHOW 9] – Plant Colour Schemes

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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

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!

BUT do be warned, plants alone will NOT give you a stunning garden – you have to get the design layout right first. If you don’t know how to do that then…

Attend one of our FREE Fast Track Garden Design online classes…

Register on this page: https://www.successfulgardendesign.com/freeclasses/



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.

  10. Fiona de Vries says:

    Hi Rachel, I enjoy watching your Successful Gardening videos. I appreciate your professional training and experience! (and your sense of humour 🙂 My husband and I put retaining walls around our home and made it a level block for kids to run around in. We concreted paths around the house that was surrounded by clay. I planted MANY beautiful plants and killed many plants. I tried to find ways of saving money by planting ‘gifts’ from other friends gardens, and ended up introducing onion weed in a couple of areas. I will do a video of what I have and try and think of colour ideas to inspire me to get back in the garden.

    • Successful Garden Design says:

      Hi Fiona, thank you so much for your kind words and I am delighted to hear that you are enjoying our videos. Thank you for telling me about your garden. I am positive it will look fantastic once completed. Best of luck with your garden and please let us know if you have any questions 🙂

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