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How to wow with red in your garden

By: Angie Coyier
When you want to get someone’s attention, you need red! Let us show you how to use it in the garden.

Red is fiery, passionate and attention-getting. Want someone to stop? Erect a red sign. Want your garden to be traffic-stopping? Big, bold red flowers should do the trick. But too many of them might be more anxiety-inducing than spotlight-grabbing. How do you use this intense color effectively?

Classic red


You can’t get much more traditional than a red rose (Rosa spp. and hybrids). In the language of flowers, it stands for love. What better way to show someone you care than to send them a bouquet of red roses from your own garden?

Turn up the heat!


Want to intensify the impact of your red flowers? Give them a dark background. Here, a burgundy-black grass guarantees these begonias’ (Begonia hybrid) flaming red blooms practically blaze with color. Red is always an attention-getter, so you might use it to do that. Or maybe you’d like to direct attention away from a less-than-desirable view. A mass of red like this in the opposite direction should do it.

The power of red


Because it’s such a strong color, red has the potential to overwhelm almost any situation. Use it carefully and you can get just the right amount of emphasis without stealing the show.

Red’s power is strong on painted items, where the color is especially saturated. The single chair above makes a great focal point. But imagine if it were a large wall painted red. You wouldn’t be able to tear your gaze away to enjoy anything else! Use highly saturated red items in small doses.


On the other hand, because the red globe amaranth (Gomphrena hybrid) flowers above are small, a large sweep of their red doesn’t overwhelm the scene. It’s just the right amount for emphasis.

Published: March 22, 2018

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