The color of your plantings as well as your hardscape features works to create many different effects. Use color to generate a look and mood that's appropriate to your particular situation. For instance, I like to use plantings in bright yellows, oranges, and reds in front yards to create a cheerful and welcoming atmosphere. A single bold red plant can really liven up a portion of your landscape. And something variegated (with multicolored leaves), such as a spider plant, can brighten a shady area under a tree where it's difficult to get flowers to grow. You can use these simple strategies in many contexts with many kinds of plants.
Foliage colors other than green play a strong role in design, too, adding lively, year-round interest. Don't overlook seasonal changes in leaf color — they can be incredibly rewarding. Match the fresh green leaves of spring with brightly colored flowers, and then later in the year, match the autumn foliage to more somber autumn colors by using fall-blooming plants. The tricks you can play are endless.
Use the plant lists in gardening books such as Gardening All-in-One For Dummies (Wiley) to plan out your color schemes by season. Looking at images of the plants and putting them together into a collage helps you see how the planting will look. Visit nurseries and gardens to see real plants in bloom, and don't overlook seeing mature plants growing in real places.
Your hardscape needs to have a color scheme, too. Hardscape colors are usually more subtle than those of flowers, but sometimes it's really fun to use an outrageous bright red, purple, or yellow piece of art in a focal point where it will have a stunning impact amid the more demure colors of the plantings. (See the earlier section "Focal points and vantage points: Grabbing people's attention" for details.)
From a sustainability perspective, the color of pavement can affect the liv-ability of the area you're landscaping. The relative reflectivity (or albedo as we fancy-pants landscape architects like to call it) of a surface can make it literally hot or cool. And very few people enjoy having to sit or walk on a surface that's too hot.
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How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.