Choosing colours for your garden is hugely subjective to personal choice but here are some tips to help you create a garden that looks well planned and orchestrated.
Limiting the overall palette keeps things looking classy. Just because they still sell multi-coloured packs of plants doesn't mean it looks good. It doesn't. Adding 'filler' plants grown for their lime green foliage and adding grasses for texture and movement both work well to knit together different plants. My advice is to limit the mixing of colours from 2 to a maximum of 5. Difficult with so many gorgeous flowers but doing this creates a strong, cohesive garden. This restrained colour palette below repeats lilac and blush tones with strong pops of plum punctuated throughout. The colours complement each other and the grasses soften and knit everything together. Once flowering is over the seeds heads remain looking good well into autumn.
As a rule of thumb, the stronger and more vivid the colour, the more sun it will need. This makes sense as vibrant reds and plums appear as muddy browns in shady dim areas and rich blues disappear altogether. Mother Nature knows her stuff. Keep shaded areas light and bright with strong clean whites, blush pinks and lime greens. This garden by Adam Frost is a wonderful example of using softer lighter colours and lots of bright greens to brighten up a shady garden. Notice also the repetition of plants linking each separate border, the use of strong vertical shapes creates a rhythm.
Matching the intensity of the hues is a failsafe method of mixing different colours. A pale pink flower next to a strong vibrant orange doesn't look great, but pairing a vivid tangerine orange with an intense magenta becomes a magical combination as demonstrated below.
Paler pinks and oranges work together too as long as the hues are matched but notice also the addition of the lime green which is helping bring this together.
Gorgeous Planting Combo's
Think of hues (intensity of colour level) in terms of skimmed, semi skimmed or full fat. See the planting combo's below. Key Lime Whites is skimmed. Zanzibar Sunset is full fat. Provence is semi skimmed.