By: Garden Gate staff
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The complementary color for orange is blue. Like fire and water, one adds heat and excitement, while the other soothes. Combining them gives you a nice balance.
Purple and violet are often used in place of blue in the garden because there are few true blue flowers, but the results are similar. In the photo at left, the peachy orange foliage of ‘Caramel’ coral bells (Heuchera hybrid) is pretty with the allium (Allium hollandicum) and perennial geranium (Geranium hybrid).
Other plants with orange foliage you might want to try are coleus (Solenostemon hybrid), barberry (Berberis thunbergii) and canna (Canna hybrids). Don’t forget that many deciduous trees have orange leaves in fall, too.
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Brighten things up
Shade gardens can feel dark, especially ones beneath lots of trees. The eye sees warm colors before cool ones, and the container shown at left is a good example of what designers often refer to as a “pop of color.”
While the orange impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) really draw the eye, the white margin on the hosta (Hosta spp. and hybrids) leaves is a neutral color that also brightens, without bringing too much attention to itself the way orange does.
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Add life to the party
Orange injects energy, so what better place to make things more lively than at a dinner party? Set up a festive atmosphere using orange accessories in an outdoor dining area, like the patio at left.
A bold orange might be too much to take in everyday. Here, the brick pavers’ subtle earthy orange hue inspired the rust-orange pillows and peach candles. For a night with friends, you can include brighter pops of orange with the napkins and a centerpiece. These details will draw attention to the table and stimulate the conversation.