Designing with Purple

Starting a new garden design might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. When revamping an old area, or starting fresh with a new one, focusing on a single thing to build from makes the process more easily digestible. So, what’s a single thing that’s perfect for focusing on? Think color, like the color purple.

At its most basic, purple is made up of blue and red, meaning it lives at the meeting point of red tones and cool blue tones. That makes purple an amazingly versatile color to use in the landscape. But, diving a little deeper than just the basics, the color theory surrounding purple is also versatile. Purple evokes everything from imagination, creativity, and power to calm, knowledge, and luxury. So, how does one use a color so versatile and vast in a garden design?

Know How to Use Other Colors

Using the color wheel, we know that yellow is the complementary color to purple. Secondary colors are oranges and greens, and analogous (or similar) are reds and blues. Depending on the colors you enjoy or whether you want your space to have warm or cool tones, deciding on these supplemental colors is a great place to start. If working with purple blooms for the first time, choosing small, effective pairings and building out from there is a great place to start.

If you want a space that exudes warm tones, purple Summer Crush® Hydrangea blooms are the way to go. They look fabulous when planted with and around orange hues, like these orange daylilies. Keep in mind that Summer Crush® needs acidic soil to have purple blooms. Watch this video on soil amendments to learn how to make that happen at home.

In contrast, if you want a space that embraces cooler tones, plant shrubs with icy gray and blue tones, like Silver Mound Artemisia, near BloomStruck® Hydrangeas.

Go All In

Using a single color can make a significant impact on your space. So, if you’re in love with purple, why not have a wow moment and plant a number of BloomStruck® Hydrangeas together in one space, like seen above. This design technique is called mass planting, and it’s great for those searching for a low-maintenance design option. When you plant like this, you only need to know how to take care of one plant, not several.

You can also get this effect by planting different hues of purple together. For example, the image above shows the lavender purple of ornamental onion and the purple of BloomStruck® flowers in one space. A great way to ensure this will work is utilizing a green hue that goes with both purples, acting almost like a neutral in the garden. In this case, the lime green spirea is that neutral that ties the two purple shades together.

Use Pops of Purple

Sometimes big masses of color don’t work for a space, and that’s alright. When that’s the case, employ cleverly placed pops of color to make a statement. There’s no easier way to do that than using hydrangeas in decorative containers. First, remind yourself how to garden with container hydrangeas here. Then, place the containers anywhere from your outdoor patio, entry, or even in the middle of your garden. This technique is a great way to test out if you like the addition of purple here, there, or anywhere in between. Adding color with decorative containers is an easy way to make an immediate impact with color without redesigning a whole space.

Remember the Seasons

If you have May blooming yellow flowers planted next to a June blooming purple flower, you are most likely going to miss the effect you were hoping for. So, keep in mind the seasons and the bloom time when designing with color. Take Twist-n-Shout® Hydrangeas, for example. In cooler climates during the fall, the leaves age to a gorgeous plum purple. In addition to those late-season blooms like seen in the picture above, this seasonal color change is something that, when planned for, can really make your garden eye-catching and unique. So, before planting, do a little research, make sure bloom times align, and season color changes are accounted for, while also being celebrated.

Overall, the most challenging part of designing a space is getting started. But, once you have that one thing in mind, like the color purple, you won’t want to stop! And why would you? Have fun, be creative, and enjoy the process of designing the hydrangea garden of your dream.