What’s your idea of the perfect garden? A lively spot for family and friends to gather? A quiet space of healing meditation? A space that lifts your spirits? Or one that gets your creative juices going? 

With the power to transform moods, color is the key to setting the ambiance of your garden. Ask yourself, “How do I want my garden to feel?” Then let that answer guide you. Once you know, you can search for plants by color, right from this page.

Oranges, yellows, and reds create an exciting, energizing, and upbeat feeling that's great for entertaining.

Vibrant and Entertaining

Red, yellow, and orange gardens exude energy and pizzazz. Yellow adds a sunny, happiness to the exciting energy of reds and oranges. If you entertain, these are the perfect colors to stimulate conversation, dining, and merriment.

Peaceful and Soothing

Purples, grays, and deep shades of blue create a more formal, sedate garden setting—with a mood that slows the pulse. A walk through these cool gardens is soothing, safe, comforting. A touch of white sets off the blues and hints at a well-organized, well-planned garden.

Lauren B.’s fragrance collection uses English lavender, catmint, autumn sage, Santa Barbara daisies, gray santolina, and lavender cotton to create a soothing garden oasis.

Cool grays and greens instill the garden with peace and tranquility.

Cheerful and Uplifting

Combine pastels—pinks, yellows, blues, and purples—with a touch of white for a cheerful, uplifting garden—this combination feels young and fresh, from the moment you step into the garden.

See how Vera D. created a cheerful corner in the garden with pastels. She mixes pink and yellow lupines, pink oriental lilies, pink and white columbine, yellow geum, and blue wisteria—the wisteria’s fragrance adds a sweetly uplifting aromatic to the mix.

Pastel yellows and pinks have the power to lift spirits and lend cheer to the garden.

Healing and Renewal

Green is the color of rest and renewal. Imagine cool green foliage dotted with calming white and lavender flowers, benches in dappled shade, a weathered birdbath, moss-covered stones. These colors create a restful garden of healing and renewal.

Michele B.’s shade collection shows how to create a relaxing garden using Japanese painted fern, hosta, dead nettles, impatiens, licorice plants, and hydrangea.

Blues, lavenders, and greens create a healing place of rest and renewal.

Creative and Inspiring

Contrasting colors stimulate creativity. As do contrasting textures, sizes, and shapes. Try blue moonflowers and orange marigolds for an inspiring combination with great contrast. The moonflower’s large green leaves, small clusters of blue flowers, and ball shape are the perfect contrast to the marigold’s small leaves and larger orange petals.

Use contrasting colors, shapes and textures to spark creativity and inspire the senses.
What to know


  1. For lasting color in a vibrant garden where you entertain friends and family, plant low-maintenance annuals with large showy flowers like zinnias and petunias for exciting color all season.
  2. Place containers around the patio and in between trees and shrubs—they’re a quick, low-maintenance way to add color.
  3. For a harmonious and calming setting with a hint of liveliness and inspiration, combine pink with mauves punctuated with vibrant reds.
  4. To create a setting for quiet contemplation or meditation, try combining peaceful purples, grays, and blues with evergreen shrubs and trees, stone benches, walkways, or fountains.
  5. For a restful retreat in the shade, surround a small table and chairs with soothing green hosta and ivy.