How to Create a Mood Garden: Using a Mixture of Hues to Evoke Emotion

In the world of garden design, colours aren’t just a visual delight but also powerful mood evokers. By combining different hues, you can create atmospheres that evoke a range of emotions. Whether you seek tranquility, excitement, a touch of gothic mystique, or moments of introspection, we have the palette for you.

Understanding the Language of Colour

Each hue carries its own emotional resonance, from the tranquility of blues and greens to the passion of reds and oranges. By understanding the psychological impact of colour, you can curate a garden that speaks to the heart. Mood boards serve as visual roadmaps, guiding your garden design journey with clarity and inspiration. Start by collecting images, swatches, and textures that suggest the mood you wish to convey. Are you drawn to the calm serenity of a Japanese Zen Garden or the vibrant energy of a sunny day? Let your imagination roam freely as you assemble a mood board, allowing intuition to guide your selections.

Serenity in Shades of Blue and Green

Picture a serene oasis, where calmness washes over you like a gentle breeze. Blue, the colour of the sky and sea, paired with lush greens, creates a tranquil ambiance perfect for relaxation. Delicate blue flowers like phlox blend harmoniously with verdant foliage such as hostas, offering a soothing retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There are many different plant varieties with shades of blues and greens.

Hosta True Blue

Hosta True Blue is an excellent choice to add to a calming space. With its mounding habit, growing to a height of 60 cm (24”) and width of 90 cm (36”), this hosta features wide, heavily corrugated slightly cupped blue-green leaves. In July to August, you will see near-white flowers appear. Hosta True Blue is hardy to zone 3 and is resistant to snails and slugs.

Gentiana True Blue

With a very similar name, Gentiana True Blue provides intensely coloured blooms. These 2” blooms are long blooming from July through to September. Growing to a height of 60 cm (24”), gentiana is perfect for a full sun location in your garden! Gentiana prefers cool areas in the garden and neutral to acidic, well-draining soil. It is hardy to zone 4.

Phlox Blue Paradise

Phlox paniculata Blue Paradise is a taller variety, growing to 75 cm (30”), and blooms from July through September. It is a long-lasting variety you will be able to enjoy for many months! Make sure to dead-head spent blooms to allow for extra flushes of blooms. Blue Paradise is great for cut flowers and boasts a beautiful aroma as well. Hardy to zone 3.

Platycodon Sentimental Blue

Infuse the cool hue of a winter’s evening into the garden with Platycodon Sentimental Blue. Platycodon, also known as the Balloon Flower, forms a mound of green foliage, bearing inflated buds that burst into star-shaped blooms. Scentimental Blue grows to 20 cm (8”), is deer resistant and makes for great cut flowers. It’s a perfect variety for containers, or the front of your garden beds. Hardy to zone 3.

A Burst of Excitement with Vibrant Reds and Oranges

For those who crave energy and excitement, a garden pulsating with vibrant reds and oranges is the ultimate playground. These fiery hues ignite passion and enthusiasm. Think radiant dahlias, flaming lilies, and zesty orange gaillardia dancing amidst a backdrop of lush greenery, creating a spectacle that commands attention and ignites joy!

Gaillardia Arizona Sun

Add a burst of explosive colour with Gaillardia Arizona Sun. These blooms are a blistering mix of bright yellow, surrounding centres of flaming red. Enjoy amazing flowers in your garden from June through to October. They will add continual bright colour! The energy will keep coming all summer long. An ideal variety for containers and borders and grows to a height of 25 cm (10”). With its shorter height, plant near the front of the garden bed, and have this stunning variety as a showpiece. Drought tolerant once established and hardy to zone 3.

Dahlia Babylon Red

Add huge balls of red fire to your garden with 25 cm (10”) dahlias! Dahlia Babylon Red is a gigantic dinnerplate dahlia. Growing to a mid-border height of 100 cm (40”), Babylon Red adds vibrant colour and a striking presence. Make sure to cut the faded blooms throughout the summer to ensure continual reblooming. This variety is perfect for cut flower arrangements.

Lilium Kaveri

Lilium Kaveri will infuse a display of bright and pulsating deep red hues into your garden. This fragrant lily is another giant, growing to 120 cm (48”). This Oriental x Asiatic hybrid lily (OA hybrid lily) is very unique – the first of its kind! This lily mixes the bright colours, multiple buds and early blooming time of an Asiatic lily with the fragrance and height of an oriental lily. A perfect choice for the back of the border. Hardy to zone 3.

Embracing the Gothic Aesthetic with Moody Purples and Blacks

Step into the shadows of a gothic-inspired garden, where mystery and romance intertwine amidst a tapestry of moody purples and blacks. Dramatic blooms of deep purple aquilegia, black calla lilies, and midnight-hued colocasia cast an enchanting spell, evoking a sense of intrigue and allure. Pair these bewitching blossoms and ornamental foliage in shades of deep burgundy and velvety black for a garden that exudes gothic elegance.

Aquilegia Black Barlow

Aquilegia Black Barlow is an easy-to-grow double-flowering columbine. Its deep purple hues bring out an elegant darkness in the garden. Performing wonderfully in full sun to part shade mixed borders. Growing to a height of 90 cm (36”), Black Barlow blooms from May through July, and is hardy to zone 2.

Colocasia Black Magic

Add deep dark foliage to your moody garden with elephant ear Colocasia Black Magic. This lush, tropical plant produces enormous leaves. Growing to a height of 150 cm (60”), plant this deer-resistant variety in areas of full to part sun, in mixed borders. Its deep saturated purple-black leaves will engulf your garden with drama.

Goth is about mood as well as colour.

Calla Odessa

Calla Odessa exudes drama and flare. With glossy, deep black trumpet-shaped flowers and medium green leaves flecked with white, Odessa is one of the darkest flowers. This deer-resistant variety grows to a height of 40 cm (16”) making it a great cut flower.

To make these dramatic colours pop, try planting pure white blooms as a backdrop to showcase these dynamic varieties. Try the feathery Astilbe White, the sweetly fragrant ground cover of Gallium odoratum, or the tall, wispy grass of Schizachyrium Chameleon.

Moments of Introspection with Soft Neutrals and Pastels

In the quiet corners of your garden, where solitude beckons, soft neutrals and pastels offer a gentle embrace. Pale pinks, soft lavenders, and creamy whites paint a serene backdrop, creating a space for contemplation and reflection. Delicate blooms like blush-toned dicentra, towering blooms of digitalis, and graceful lysimachia saturate the air with tranquility, encouraging moments of introspection.

Dicentra Cupid

Dicentra Cupid’s air of elegance is almost unmatched in the garden. With its soft, white-rose floating heart shaped blooms, Cupid is a pillar of romance in the garden. Growing to 60 cm (24”), enjoy this perennial from April to June, in a full to part shade location of your garden. Hardy to zone 2.

Digitalis Dalmatian Peach

Digitalis Dalmatian Peach adds towers of 50 cm (20”) elegant blooms. The soft, curved bells of Dalmatian Peach is a beautiful and calming addition to a garden of serenity. This variety creates introspection and calmness with its colour and attracts hummingbirds! Try other digitalis such as Dalmatian Cream, White, or Rose for additional soft neutral varieties.  Hardy to zone 5.

Lysimachia cletheroides

Whether flowing gracefully along woodland edges or standing tall in garden beds, Lysimachia cletheroides flowers add a touch of airy charm to the garden. It expresses peacefulness through its gentle form, soft textures, and serene demeanor. Lysimachia is commonly known as Gooseneck Loosestrife, and boasts slender stems adorned with clusters of tiny, white star-shaped flowers. Its elongated, arching form evokes a sense of reflection and serenity, as it sways gently in a soft breeze. This deer-resistant variety is ideal for mixed borders and grows to 80 cm (32”) and is flexible in the amount of light it needs as it performs in full shade to full sun locations. Enjoy this variety throughout the summer months from July through to September. It is hardy to zone 3.

In the canvas of your garden, colours are the brushes with which you paint emotions and set the mood. Whether you seek relaxation, excitement, a touch of drama, or moments of introspection, there’s a palette waiting to bring your vision to life. So go ahead, unleash your creativity, and transform your outdoor space into a sanctuary of colour and emotion.

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