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Home > Types of Gardening > Ornamental Gardening > Design & Colour themes and shapes
Design & Colour themes and Shapes
Most ornamental gardens (also called beds or borders depending on their position) include a mixture of annual, biennial and perennial plants. Perennial plants, particularly woody perennials, give structure to a garden since they are present every year. They provide variation in height, shape and texture as well as colour. Annuals are mainly used for seasonal colour as they flower profusely and may also have bright coloured foliage. Different types of plants can be used as focal points in the garden at different times of the year, depending on their stage of growth. Plants can also be put in containers, such as hanging baskets or pots, and moved to areas where they will have an impact.

Colour themes and shapes

Design and ShapesWithin a defined area of the garden, it can be a good idea to keep to a specific colour theme. Use a colour wheel to help you work out what colours mix well together. You will need to consider the height of plants, so that the tallest are placed in the centre of a bed or back of a border and shortest on the edge. Also look at the texture and shape of leaves and flowerheads. Try to place contrasting plants near each other, such as the large, oval, hairy leaves of a Bergenia beside the spiky, smooth leaves of a dwarf flax. An annual that makes a big impact with the texture and colour of its foliage is the ornamental kale.

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