Gardeners face lots of choices this fall as they plan and plant beds of pansies and bulbs. One of the chief concerns that seems to worry people is their choice of colors. There are plenty to choose from. Just look at the bulbs: yellow daffodils, red tulips, blue hyacinths and many more colors are in garden centers to tempt you.
The best choice for long-lasting color, fall into spring, comes in a huge array of pansies, in colors from pastel to bold.
It is a delicious task to make these colors work together, and the first rule is: Do not be afraid.
While colors may not always work together in fashion or home decor, most colors work great together outdoors.
Several considerations guide my thinking, and some of them should make combining colors easy for you.
• Start with primary colors: red, blue and yellow. A popular combination is red and yellow tulips. Another is yellow daffodils rising above blue pansies.
• Vary tones of a single color. If you are keen on one color in particular, go for it, but mix in lighter or darker versions. This is especially easy to do when you combine pansies and flower bulbs. For example, pansies and their smaller cousins, the violas, come in many blues, from pale, sky blue to almost navy. Daffodils aren’t just bright yellow. They are also pale primrose or soft tangerine, making a lovely combination.
• Make bold choices. Flower colors offer you a chance at this, often with surprisingly good results. Red and purple may not be obvious companions, but they look very beautiful together and rather unusual, too. Orange and blue is another bold combination that always looks great, especially if you get the bright orange and vivid blues in pansies and bulbs.
• Add white. White flowers such as pansies, daffodils, tulips or hyacinths make worthy additions to the bed. White adds a fresh look and makes some of the softer colors such as pink or yellow stand out. And it always looks sharp with dark blue.
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