Creating Contrast in your Garden

3 min read

Do you ever wish for a more visually exciting and stunning garden? You’re not alone. A striking garden is the desire of many a keen gardener and even those who know little about green-fingered matters. A good garden design is often one that displays examples of contrast, whether that be in colour, size, form or texture or all of these elements combined. Contrast is used to create interest, highlight differences and to produce a well-balanced visual. Too much contrast can be overwhelming and jarring, so it’s important to get the right balance.

  1. Contrast created with colour

In any garden when creating contrast with the colours of plants and flowers, make sure those combinations are all suited to your soil type so can co-exist happily. Beautiful contrasts include yellows and limes contrasted with purple hues for example to produce visual interest. You can use colours that complement each other and sit opposite one another on the colour wheel. By doing this, colours appear crisper and brighter.

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  1. Contrast with texture

Using texture to create contrast can be achieved by choosing plants and flowers with different textured leaves, arrangements and shapes. Rounded leaf plants contrast well with cascading fronds, for example. You can install plants with large leaves as well as those with thin, narrow leaf shapes. By using a combination of different textures, you are highlighting the specific beauty of each individual plant. Large foliage is striking and stands out, while fine leaves tend to act by softening the landscape.

Another clever way to offer contrast in a garden is to combine the natural world with man-made elements and materials. Corten Metal Garden Sculptures, for example offer a striking visual contrast between nature and man-made design. For more information, visit

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  1. Size contrast

This is an easy contrast to incorporate, whether with plant forms or with a combination of small plants and a large garden centrepiece. Height variation is another way to achieve this, choosing tall striking plants to stand out amongst low level plantings to create a tiered effect. You should aim for a good mix of trees, medium-sized hedge and small, low-growing plants.

When combining different sizes and heights, consider proportion to nearby plants and structures alike. You’ll also need to consider how the plants mature, the size they will become and provide adequate space for this growth. An effective look is to weave similar height plants in a snake-like pattern for a unique and interesting visual for your garden.

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