Color schemes for containers work best when the colors match the style of container. Strong powerful pots need strong powerful colors, just as elegantly simple ones work well with gentler hues. The most important point though, is to avoid anything approaching a cacophony of colors that beg to be kept apart. As with flower arranging, select a dominant color and work around it.
The positioning of the colors is equally important. Do not lose the effect of a gorgeous dark blue flower by positioning it against a dark background. Some of the blue salvias, especially Salvia patens, are so vivid and rich that they desperately need a bright background to stand out. That is even truer of the deep dark wine reds, such as Cosmos atrosanguiness. Conversely, check that whites, yellows, and oranges are not lost against matching backgrounds. The white Tulipa â€œTriumphatorâ€ is one of the most exquisite of all tulips, and should be grown separately, rather than in a white garden, where its appeal would be promptly diminished against a background of silvers and grays. It is also vital to note the extent to which colors create different moods; cool white lilies are restful, whilst reds and oranges are vibrant and hot.
ABOVE: An ornamental, slassic style urn set on a plinth, with a fine show of red and yellow tulips. Note how they flare out against the dark, bare background, and how the vertical stems do not detract from the shape of the urn.
A STUDY ORANGE
OPPOSITE: The best way to brighten a corner is with a strong flash of orange. Patio chrysanthemums are a good choice for small pots, maintaining a shapely balance.