Three Easy Ways To Boost Contrast In Your Landscape

Posted on: 20 June 2019

Contrast in any design adds texture and interest. You may also use it to make distinctions between uses, zones, or themes. It can make a small yard look larger or cause a large one to appear more cozy.

So, if contrast is so important, how can you create and use it in your own yard? Here are three easy ways.

Use Mulch

Mulch provide a variety of contrasting opportunities. While most people think of mulch as tree bark or shavings, it actually comes in both organic and non-organic varieties. Organic mulch includes chipped tree materials of different sizes and textures. But it also includes things like pea gravel, other gravels, and river rock.

Black mulch, for example, underneath a brightly flowered plant bed or forming a walkway next to a lush lawn, gives excellent contrast in color and texture. Pea gravel provides white and beige contrast next to lawns, shrubs, and trees. 

Use Plant Color

Colors in landscaping come in a rainbow of shades and hues. From annual and perennial flowers to variegated shrubs to white or orange tree bark, you can add just about any shade you wish, with modern landscape options. Consider combining colors like dark purple leaves, Japanese painted ferns and the bright oranges of Asiatic lilies, or bright green potato vines with red begonias. 

The best use of color starts with an understanding of color theory and how to apply it. Colors opposite one another on the color wheel serve as excellent complementary shades — easily evidenced by combining red and green flowers or blues and orange hues. Dark violet mulch could easily be combined with bright yellow blooms to create a stunning mix. 

Use Various Shapes

Color isn't the only way to add interesting contrasts. Shape and size should also be varied. Large Elephant ear bushes placed next to delicate pea gravel mulch gives great contrast that highlights both elements equally. You can easily vary leaf size, tree size, and flower size. Mix in large blooms like hibiscus, hydrangeas, or tree peonies with delicate baby's breath planted in large bunches.

Play with shapes in your yard. This doesn't have to be limited to plants. You could mix sculptures, water features, border designs, supplies, and outdoor furnishings to create interest and variety.

How will you create more contrast in your yard? Whether you want to use more colors, shapes, or mulch mixes, you're sure to bring new life to any landscape. For help with supplies and ideas on getting started, click here.