Real World Gardener How Light Affects Colour in Design Elements

November 24th, 2013

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.
Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation
The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition. The new theme is sung by Harry Hughes from his album Songs of the Garden. You can hear samples of the album from the website

Design Elements

with Landscape Designer Louise McDaid

Last week, a new series was started on colour in garden design.
Colour theory and a range of different ways to use the colours were explained through using the colour wheel.

Main colour schemes used in gardens are complementary, split complementary, triadic/contrasting, harmonious and monochromatic.But colour is a fickle thing, and many factors affect the appearance of the colour of your plants. Because this program goes Australia, you can imagine how the different light levels will affect colour in people’s gardens from Ballina in NSW to Kingston in South Australia.
Colour is affected by a number of factors such as (i) light-we need to consider the light levels in our gardens. (ii)distance-how far away is the garden from where you're looking at it?

For the best tips, listen to Louise explain how you can overcome the colour dilemma.

As Louise mentioned, there are some guidelines to using colour:

Receding colours – fade away or black out – cool colours such as blues, deep greens – they look further away – also grey, black (good for fences or other items you want to ‘disappear’ in the garden)

Luminous colours – appear closer – warm colours yellow, orange, red – they also lead the eye through a garden.
Colour changes should be graduated or sequenced to keep continuity.
Colour and textures are related – delicate pastel colours have a fine textural appearance,  while bright colours appear coarser.If you have any questions about this week’s Design Elements, send it our email address, or just post it.

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