By creating contrast in a garden, you generate real punch. Contrast can be created by pairing plants of different colour, shape, or texture. The bright red of the cardinal flower is given an extra jolt if it’s beside some deep green foliage. The delicate foliage of columbine contrasts nicely with the thick leaves of wild ginger. Play with your plants while in their pots to check out different combinations before planting them.
Repeating a certain element at various intervals will give your garden a unified feel. You can repeat bloom or foliage colours, plant shapes, or textures. You don’t want it to be identical throughout, but by repeating a particular theme in varying combinations you can create harmony. For example, you might repeat a grouping of three plants, one vertical and two mounded, in a few parts of the garden. The vertical element might stay the same and the horizontal ones change, or all three might vary as to species but stay the same general shape and size. Or you might repeat the inclusion of a certain type of plant or a certain colour and intersperse it throughout the garden.
Photo: Odette Tremblay