An array of beautifully crayoned flowers looks great against the neutral of your kid’s coloring book, so why not take this same concept when sprucing up the backdrop of a gray house. While your children may possess an unending supply of creativity, moms can use this same artistic touch to play up even the most neutral of house colors.
1. Contrasting Colors
Gray is a neutral color that is between white and black. Since it's muted, you can match all colors on the color wheel nicely. The trick is to choose a flower and a pot that contrast with each other. Contrasting pots and flowers with different colors will add a little something to both your garden and your gray house. To keep things simple, use a color wheel when picking contrasting colors for your pots and flowers. For example a yellow daffodil (Narcissus spp.), USDA plant hardiness zones 3B through 10, would contrast nicely in a fuchsia colored pot, as fuschia is opposite yellow on the color wheel. You can also contrast an annual, such as red China Aster (Callistephus chinensis), with a green pot.
2. Warm Colors
Warm colors are those on the color wheel that draw your attention and possess an energetic presence. These colors are located in the red, orange and yellow sections of a color wheel. Warm colors tend to pop and add drama to a gray, but if you’re looking for something subtle, choose warm-colored flowers that aren’t as bright, such as pastel pinks and corals. For instance, the sweet pea (Lathryus odoratuszones 7 through 9), has fragrant, pastel-colored flowers. Tone down the contrast by choosing more neutral-colored pots to go with your warm-colored flowers.
3. Cool Colors
The cool colors of violets, blues and greens have a calming effect. Less dramatic than warm colors, cool colors can soften bright, warm tones. The great blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica), hardiness zones 4 through 8, is a bright purplish-blue. Place it in a cobalt blue pot for a stunning impact against a gray house.
Not only do bright white flowers and white pots look stunning against a gray home, but a splash of white also blends nicely with any color flowers, plants and pots. The annual zinnia (Zinnias elegans) is an outstanding addition to any garden and for those who love lilies, the Casa Blanca lily (Lilium ‘Casa Blanca’) USDA hardiness zones 4 through 9, is gorgeous white and fragrant.
When planning a garden, keep in mind which flowers will work best for your demographic. If your garden is shrouded in shade, choose flowers that can tolerate shade, such as begonias (Begonia spp.), hardy in zones 10 and 11. If your garden is primed for sunnier weather choose flowers such as petunias (Petunia X hybrida) in zones 9 and 10. Also note your potted plants' soil preferences. Fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica), zones 6 through 9, for example, needs a moisture-retentive soil that’s similar to a tropical rainforest.
- Fine Gardening: Fuchsia Magellanica
- Fine Gardening: Lilium ‘Casa Blanca’
- Floridata: Petunia X Hubrida
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Begonia x Benariensis Big Series
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Narcissus spp. Daffodil, Narcissus
- Washington State University Clark County Extension: Sweet Peas – A Flower Garden Favorite
- Fine Gardening: Lobelia Siphilitica (Blue Cardinal Flower, Great Blue Lobelia)
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