The Theory of Color in Landscape Design for Minnesota

color theory combinationsColor theory isn’t just for the visual arts; it’s a concept that is used in a variety of design professions. A professional landscape designer will work with color theory to come up with an overall design that is pleasing to the eye.

There are many factors that are considered when it comes to creating a landscape. MN Landscape designers have to ensure that everything works together to create a pleasing atmosphere for everyone to be in. Color is a big player when it comes to the aspects that have to be considered in creating a beautiful yard that’s full of eye-friendly color.

Using Color in the Design of a MN Landscape

The color wheel is not just for painters, but it can also be used in landscape design. The color wheel organizes different colors as primary, seconddary, and tertiary.  Color theory then combines colors based on their relationships to each other. It can be used to create different effects that are able to enhance the look of any design.  And in addition to combinations, there are other aspects of color to be considered.  Here are the basics and how they relate to landscape design.

  • Analogous Colors:  These colors  are close to one another on the color wheel. Yellows and greens, bright green, dark green, bluish green and so on can be planted next to one another in order to create gradations of colors in a row for the eye to be pleased by.
  • Complementary Colors:  Complementary colors are those that are across from one another on the color wheel. They have a bigger impact on the viewer and beg for attention. Yellow with purple would be a good mix that wants attention and pops out of the landscape. Dark green with red in front of it is another example that can be done in a landscape.
  • Values of Colors:  This is the amount of shading, whether it is light or dark within the landscape. This can make anything stand out on the yard from the background instead of being sucked in by it. If you place flowers, trees, different plants and hardscape material according to the color value, you’re able to pull out the elements and make them stand out more within the landscape.
  • Intensity of the Colors:  You can use dull or bright colors or even mix and match to create a different visual effect around your yard. If everything was the same intensity, it would all mesh together and nothing would stand out.  Having a variety allows the eye to flow better over the yard and pick out more intense areas.
  • Shadows and Lighting:  Light plays a major role when it comes to how colors pop out. Depending on the time of day, different areas throughout the yard will get different shadows and lighting. Considering this, you’re able to place trees, shrubs and flowers in the right places to catch the light so that it highlights their colors and look.


If you’re looking for a landscape design specialist that is able to play around with the different colors in your yard and make them stand out much more than you thought possible, speak with the professionals at Architectural Landscape Design, where we can provide a whole color wonderland for your Minneapolis area yard.  Call us today at 952-272-7717.