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  • In this garden, a purple wall makes the native desert plants stand out. Scott Calhoun in Tucson, AZ.
  • You don't have to paint the entire wall to create impact, just a portion will do. John Vogley Landscape Arch in Palm Desert, CA.
  • Horsetail reeds look dramatic against this deep purple wall. Shades of Green Landscape Architecture in Sausalito, CA.
  • Purple, yellow and aqua combine to create a colorful seating area in this Tucson garden. Landscaping Network in Calimesa, CA.
  • A blue wall provides an excellent backdrop for succulents and other plants. Flickr user Fran Ulloa.
  • Hacienda Style colors: Mariposa, Sorbete de Melon, Hacienda Red, Cenote, and Mexican Jade.
  • Sunbrella colors: Pacific Blue, Aruba, Macaw, Sunflower Yellow, and Tangerine.

"Color powers and enlivens gardens. I'm not talking about the petunias and pansies that are sometimes referred to as 'color;' I mean paint. Big architectural plants, which form the backbone of exciting gardens, need a stage or backdrop, and color-drenched walls are often exactly what is required," says landscape designer Scott Calhoun.

Upon reading Scott's statement I went on a hunt for photos of gardens that incorporate vivid paint colors as a backdrop for plants. I hope you enjoy my findings as much as I enjoyed the search.

A new line of paints, Hacienda Style, inspired by the old-world estates of Mexico, is perfect for adding a boost of color to your garden walls. Any of the colors from this bold collection will bring warmth and life to your garden, providing a wonderful backdrop for your plants.

If painting walls such bold colors makes you hesitant, try using fabric instead. You can hang sections of fabric so that they cover an entire wall, or drape them as if they were curtains. Be sure to use fabric suitable for the outdoors, such as Sunbrella.

Use this infographic to learn how to use color to set the mood in your landscape (PDF).

  • Pro Tip: Rule #1 in the garden is DON'T BE BORING! And what is more boring than a cold, naked wall of concrete or long stretch of fencing? Add a vibrant splash of color! Any vertical surface of wood or concrete can be transformed with a fresh coat of paint or staining.

    Adding color to a background element, such as a fence, can really bring a garden composition in the foreground to life. Choose a color that subtly complements the composition (think: white fence behind a blue perennial border) or pick a color in direct contrast to the composition in the foreground (think: orange wall behind a blue perennial border) to really create a dramatic setting.

    - Chris Heiler, writer, speaker & consultant

Related Links
Materials & Wall Styles
Defining Outdoor Rooms with Walls
Ideas for Softening a Garden Wall
3 Outdoor Projects to Get a Head Start on Before Spring

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