Gardening with the Colour Wheel

The colour wheel is made up three primary colours, red, yellow and blue. Binary colours are produced when you mix these together in equal quantities giving you orange, green and violet. When you mix one or more of these in varying amounts , you create all other colours.

Gardening with the Colour Wheel at Sensible Gardening


The colours on the wheel are divided into warm and cool areas. The warm side consists of red, orange and yellow and the cool side consists of green, blue and violet. When you look at the colour wheel those colours next to each other are said to be in harmony and those opposite from each are called complementary colours. There are no hard and fast rules about using colours, they are a personal choice. The wheel does however give us a helping hand with a sometimes difficult decision.

I decided to walk around my garden and see what colour combinations I particularly liked or were drawn to and see how they were reflected on the colour wheel. It’s quite possible I used the patterns of the wheel while not even realizing I was doing so.

Sensible Gardening and Living

Purple Jolly Jump Ups which self seed with sedum acre yellow, tiny star-shaped flowers. The yellow center in the viola gives the finishing touch. This is a classic case of complementary colours of yellow and purple.

Sensible Gardening and Living

Nepeta Dropmore Blue and pink Malva co-exist beautifully together with no strain on the eye. The blue and pink tones are in harmony and are both on the cool side of the colour wheel.

Sensible Gardening and Living

I was never much of a fan of orange flowers until I stared putting them together with blues and purples. These two colours are directly across from each other on the wheel and complement each other. Orange honey suckle blooms with purple salvia.

Sensible Gardening and Living

Daylily ‘Stella de Oro’ and Berberis ‘Royal Cloak’ look stunning together and are complementary colours on the wheel.

Iris / Sensible Gardening and Living

Mother Nature knows what she’s doing too. This gorgeous Iris is direct complementary colours of yellow and purple.

Vinca / Sensible Gardening and Living

This is 3 different varieties of Vinca growing together which I love. Yep, there it is again. Three side by side harmony colours on the cool side of the wheel: blue, purple and violet.

Obviously when I was planting these combinations, I was being influenced by a power bigger than me, even if I didn’t know it:)

Share on Pinterest:

Gardening with the Colour Wheel at Sensible Gardening

(some photos from pixabay) (some links go to my affiliate Amazon account)