Give your clients some great advice about adding color

Updated Mar 28, 2024

Here are some tips for adding color from The Grounds Guys and some of our favorite blooms from the archives.

1) To get an idea of how colors blend together, check out the color wheel from Cornell University.

2) Explore why a client wants to add color. Do they want to emphasize a building, add structure or highlight other parts of the green space?

3) White appears “cooling,” and is a good color to us when the temps are high and give off a “glow” at night; Green looks restful, and is a low-key transition between flowerbeds.

4) Use different shapes and textures and integrate decorations that aren’t distracting.

Consider these plants for a splash of color:



Wishbone Flower (Torenia hybrid) – heat-tolerant with snapdragon-like flowers.

Catalina series comes in Midnight Blue (deep purple flowers with yellow throats), Gilded Grape (yellow with deep purple throats), or Grape-o-Licious (white with purple throats).

Impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri and Impatiens hybrida) – New Guinea Divine series are available in Blue Pearl, Burgundy, Cherry Red, Lavender, Orange, Orange Bronze Leaf, Pink, Scarlet Bronze Leaf, Scarlet Red, Violet and White Blush.

Sunjoy Tangelo Barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘O’Byrne’) – Bright orange foliage often accented by chartreuse.

Requires full sun, is deer resistant, and brings color from spring to fall. Other colors in the new Sunjoy series include gold, red, and nearly black. 


Black Tower Sambucus (Sambucus nigra) – Burgundy-black accent plant that holds its color well in heat and is narrow for smaller areas.

Oso Happy Smoothie Landscape Rose (Rosa ‘ZLECharlie’) – Thornless and blooms from June to frost, so it’s cold hardy. It needs full sun and doesn’t need spraying.


Coral bark Japanese maple – pinkish orange twigs.

Osier dogwood – ruddy brown, brownish orange, or pale yellow.

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