Monochromatic Gardens

Ilona Erwin

Just Choose One

Single Color Gardens

“…besides my small grey garden, I badly want others, and especially a gold garden, a blue garden, and a green garden” ~ Gertrude Jekyll, ‘Colour Schemes for the Flower Garden

To be completely honest, I cannot contain my color enthusiasm to just one choice, but I have often experimented with the idea of a monochromatic flower plan. I happen to love the impact of a single color while the rich textural variations of different plants provide the eye candy interest. I place pockets of monochromatic design within the landscape, especially using annuals to create one color areas where I find it most telling. I do like the entry way to have a monochromatic design, and blue has been my favorite hue to accomplish this, in most years.

My first introduction to a one color garden was at the first home we owned. The remnants of a former garden had remained and they were all white or very pale blossoms: a white peony, Annabelle hydrangea, a Dr. W. Van Fleet climbing rose. From that base I built my first real garden.

Later in the exuberance of planting my garden in my present place, the front porch garden settled on the all blue scheme. Still one of my favorites. Blue is quiet enough to provide a calm invitation to my old farmhouse home, but the color stands out in the flat, mostly sunny, landscape. That says it is a garden of note, in my estimation.

What Are Some Advantages Of Single Hued Gardens?

More Monochromatic Ideas and Info

  • Strong visual impact and design cohesion
  • Easy to plan
  • Pleasing to the eye
  • A bit unusual
  • Gives texture of flower and foliage a center stage

White River Gardens @ Indianapolis Zoo

Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Cameo’and ‘Texas Scarlet’ blooms in apricot colors

If you are thinking of creating a monochromatic garden that sings with just one main color, these are a few I’ve written about.

  • The White Garden is one of the more famous of these garden gardens simply because of Vita Sackville-West. A garden maven and columnist of the last century, she created her famous white Garden at Sissinghurst, which draws visitors from all over the world.It is flower garden that is serene in daytime and ethereally mystical during evening moonlit visits.
  • A Gold Garden, inspired by G. Jekyll’s wish for an entire scheme in golden hued blooms, I listed cottage style plants that will combine for just such a monochrome scheme.some of the delightful things about this color is its cheeriness, its plethora of plants, both foliage and flower, which are available, and the wide season such a blooming plan could cover.
  • The Blue Garden is highly coveted by many, but accomplished by few. Perhaps it is the restrictive demands of the relatively few plants that have blue flowers, or the retiring nature of the color. I know that it was only in the sunny space of my front garden that I was satisfied with all blue blooms. where partly shady, the flowers receded visually and I decidedly disliked the effect.In a sunny space, however, this color plan gives the effect of a summer blue sky fallen to earth, almost shimmering like a blue reflecting pool. See my list of “blue sky flowers“, if you are thinking of adding this feature into your landscape.
  • Pink Gardens lend an air of sweetness, both in fragrance and tint. Many of our favorite perfumed flowers come in pink shades. Think of roses, of peonies, of pinks! Like the gold garden there is no scarcity of flowers in this part of the color wheel.People feel comfortable with pink flowers, although it might be a bit cloying for some. This wide popularity makes it ideal for the yard facing the street. Many find that pastel gardens are a default they fall back on, but making an all pink garden brings a bit of courage into the planning, committing to one color.

    Resources for a pink monochrome design: Pink Garden Brings Curb Appeal, An All Pink Garden Plan.

  • All green garden? Does it sound boring to you? Maybe you’ve never fully appreciated walking into a cooling, calming, Serenity garden. Or given thought to the incredible spectrum of textures and shapes that a green colorscape displays. Then there are the fun novelty flowers that are green- selections of hellebore, rose, and annuals like “Bells of Ireland”. It may turn out to be your favorite part of the garden if you set apart one area just for Green.

Sun Dapple
These flowers are Globe Thistles, Echinops

The Color Garden (White : Single Color Plantings for Dramatic Landscapes)

The feature photo has Dames Rocket and Bowl of Beauty peonies.

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Ilona Erwin, author

Meet the Author

Ilona Erwin

I started working on this website beginning in 1998, when it was part of Ilona's Reflecting Pool. Since then I've branched out into a number of online endeavors and work at writing lots of content for my sites. "Ilona's Garden" remains my primary site and is dedicated to home gardener's success.