There are as many ways to use color in the garden as there are gardens. When designing a bed or container, it is always good to think about the impact you want it to have. Choosing a specific color palette is one way you can achieve your design goals.
Are you looking for something soothing and calm, or are you looking for something bright and invigorating? Are you trying to make the space feel more open and spacious, or are you going for cozy and enclosed?
Let's take a look at the color chartreuse and talk about the effects this color can have in the garden.
Green functions as a neutral in the garden and chartreuse is a shade of green. Chartreuse is so versatile that it can be paired with virtually every other color in the garden and containers. It is bold enough to enliven plantings, draws attention where you need it, and makes smaller spaces feel more spacious.
What A Difference Chartreuse Makes
Some people think that changing the look and feel of a space requires drastic changes. In reality, swapping out a single plant can make a big difference.
In the two photos shown below, both combinations contain Supertunia® Raspberry Blast™ Petuniasand Diamond Frost® Euphorbia. The combination on the left also includes a purple sweet potato vine while the one on the right contains a chartreuse sweet potato vine. The planter with the dark colored sweet potato vine recedes on the page, while the one with the chartreuse vine really jumps out at you.
Here’s another example using hanging baskets, shown below. The basket on the left contains Superbells™ Cherry Star and Superbells® Yellow Chiffon paired with a purple sweet potato vine.
The one on the right contains the same flowers paired with a chartreuse sweet potato vine. You can see how adding chartreuse to a combination can really brighten up the hanging basket and add more contrast.
This idea works in landscapes too. In the border shown below left, a dark colored filler plant is growing in front of the purple-green ‘Illustris’ Elephant Ears (Colocasia). Since both plants are similar in color, there is little contrast. The entire border tends to blend together and recede into the background.
In the same border on the right, planted in a different year, bright chartreuse colored coleus is planted in front of the ‘Illustris’ Elephant Ears. Paired together, the contrasting light and dark tones really make this border pop! It draws the viewer over to take a closer look. What a difference one plant can make!
Chartreuse Brings Light to Shady Spots
Since chartreuse is so good at adding brightness, it is a natural for shady spots that could use an infusion of light. Chartreuse perennials and shrubs, like those shown below, are an excellent foil for the green plants around them but stand out even more when paired with colorful foliage plants like coral bells.
Contributor Bio: Kerry Meyer lives and gardens in central Missouri on 10 acres near the small family farm where she grew up. She enjoys adding to and improving existing flowerbeds with the help of her young daughter and husband. Kerry holds a BS in Horticulture from the University of Missouri and an MS in Horticultural Science with a minor in Plant Breeding from the University of Minnesota.