How to Color Map Your Garden

Article by Caroline Biggs for Martha Stewart

a close up of a purple flower: These tips will help you organize your blooms by hue. The result? The prettiest ombré effect.

© Krisztina Kovacs / EyeEm / Getty Images


You can organize plenty of things by color, your garden included. Color mapping your flowers is a stylish way to arrange your outdoor space by hue, and it’s easier to pull off than you might think. “A color-mapped garden is a way of planning a garden design—including bloom, foliage, and vegetables—according to color,” says garden and landscape designer Amber Freda, who has a unique process (pictured below) for bringing her harmonious outdoor scenes to life. “A very simple way to do this would be to draw out the shape of your planting area, draw in bubbles that represent clumps of a particular type of plant, and then fill in those bubbles with colors using a marker, crayon, watercolor paint, or a drawing program on your computer.”

Along with providing aesthetic appeal, mapping out your garden’s colorways ahead of time can also streamline the planting process. “Creating a color-mapped garden design that feels cohesive and balanced in advance, rather than trying to do things on the fly, helps prevent the likelihood of winding up with haphazard, mismatched, or disorganized color schemes,” explains Freda. Looking to color map your own backyard blooms at home? Freda’s sage advice will help you get started.

Choose Your Hues Wisely

The first step to forging a gorgeous color-mapped garden is figuring out which hues you want to work with and making sure they complement each other. “Decide from the beginning which colors appeal to you most and pick a few that you think will look good together,” Freda says. “Try drawing out each of those colors and placing them next to each other to test them.”

Continue reading this article which includes a detailed plant layout at:



Author: Dennis Hickey

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