That’s why I often suggest sticking with one color and building on it by including plants of similar shades and tones. Take the color red, for example. I love red-flowering annuals, but they can vary dramatically in shades as diverse as burgundy and maroon to terra cotta and rust. But, as different as they are, all these shades do blend well together in a container or garden bed.
Then, if you want more variety it’s a simple matter of adding a contrasting or supporting color to the palette with some white, yellow, or blue flowering plants. The result always looks terrific and makes plant shopping a lot easier.
I found an outstanding example of a single color planting on a recent trip to Winter Park, Florida. Flanking the crosswalk was a simple trio of clay pots, each one packed with a slightly different shade of pink petunia. At first glance, it looks like a pretty simplistic design, yet this combination was so striking you could see it from several blocks away. Plus, because all the petunias have the same growing requirements it made maintenance a snap.
Another single-color container in a nearby garden was equally striking and even more basic. It contained just one variety of calibrachoa, but it produced flowers in two shades of red with only a smidgen of yellow in the center for contrast. That’s all that was needed to make this container take center stage.
Of course, I’m not saying that pots packed with a kaliedoscope of colors aren’t beautiful, too. I just think that you can make a bolder statement in your garden when you choose a favorite color and use it as a base to build on.
Written by Doug Jimerson