The Color of Brick and Your Flowers

Ilona Erwin

I‘ve seen a lot of interest in trying to choose attractive plantings for a brick home. This is related to the general choices of creating harmony between the house and the landscape.

Just as certain garden styles match certain architecture, so certain colors of bloom and foliage best accentuate certain house materials.

In this case the challenge before us is how to best showcase a brick home?
Start with these ideas:

Look for the Dominant Color

Brick that’s primarily pink, salmon, or light red works well with soft yellows, cool greens, and creamy antique whites.

Yellow or buff-color brick combines handsomely with neutrals such as cool grays or warm browns; look for *subdued or grayed shades to blend with the earth tones in the brick.

Different Shades Of Brick

That reminds us that brick comes in various colorings and shades, and that ideal harmonies of flowering plants will try to be good companions to those basic tones inside the brick.

There are orange bricks, rose shades, yellow bricks, each attractive with the other, and giving a hint of what colors might well be used with a brick house exterior. (Warm hues of orange, rose-red, and sunny yellow)

Yellows, white, creams, warm rose and apricots, plus the complementary blues and dusky purple may all be safely chosen.

Where the most offense is taken is usually in trying to match up a magenta purple or pink (one of the most common of flower hues) with the brown and orange tones of bricks. It isn’t that it can’t be done, but it would be very tricky to come off well.

Planting to complement a brick entryway

Planting to complement a brick entryway

Project Your Image

I guess one consideration is whether the emotional tone you desire from your front entrance facing the public would be of circus-happy wild colors or a more inviting gracious entry?

Maybe your personality is best expressed with a circus barker’s podium, but perhaps that is not what you want for the enticement of buyers for your home.

Your color scheme depends on more than one factor.

A brick exterior is already a strong color statement, it already has the emotional expression of warm earth and solid partnership with natural materials, so it is best set off with like expressions of plant colors.

Plant Colors I Like With Brick

achillea flower colors

A good foil for brick colors of all types.

  • Achilleas of all types have beautiful yellow, cream, rose, and brick colors
  • Butterfly weed: Asclepsias
  • Most astilbes except the strongest deep rose colors
  • Orange-red, salmon, and white geraniums
  • Rudbeckias and galliardias are exceptional choices
  • Soft yellowish greens in Lady’s Mantle, Rue, or trailing helichrysums
  • Silver, pinks, and purples can be found in many plant choices. Artemisias, Russian sage, Salvias for a rose brick, but not for strong orange brick
  • Citrus colors for orange brick: lime, clear yellow, bright orange: coleus, big orange and lime zinnias, marigolds
  • ‘Goldflame’ Spirea, golden leaved evergreens, coral colored shrub roses
*subdued or gray shades in flowers are colors we describe as “dusty”, artemisias are gray or silver foliaged plants, and Achillea millefolium, a type of yarrow, has dusty shades in the newer hybrids like the ‘Summer Pastels Series’. This is a plant easily grown from seed or increased by division of the plants.

When To Follow Color Rules

When using rules, there are times when the rules get broken, but usually for a good reason.

In the introductory photo at the very top, The home’s color of brick and your flowers of a Magenta might seem a rule-breaking choice. If the colors are factored into their undertones of red, in the rose brick and in the warmth of the soft magenta color, it is a more obvious pairing.

 

brick building and flowers

Red brick and spring flowers. Photo credit: gracey

 


The Garden Messenger gathered ideas from a group of home gardeners:

Plant Associations for Red Brick Walls

The more orange tones in a red brick wall, the tougher it is to get pleasing flower colors to match. Some red bricks have a rose tone and aren’t as likely to clash with fuchsia or magenta blossoms.

Flowers for Your Red Brick Home
Try using white with soft blues, lemons and a touch of lilac.
Sunny Aspects For Spring
  • White hyacinths and forget-me-nots
  • Pink and white daisies and bronze and cream dwarf wallflower
  • White tulips and grape-hyacinths
Red Brick Flowers for Summer
  • White marguerites and mauve-pink trailing geraniums
  • Mixed stocks
  • Sweet alyssum
Shade Areas for Spring
Summer Flower Choices
  • Campanulas
  • Violas
  • Fuchsias

Grey Stone or Color Wash:  Use deep blues or purples, also bright reds and pinks.

Sunny Flowers For Spring
  • Wallflowers
  • Pink tulips and forget-me-nots
  • Blue or pink hyacinths
Summer Plantings
  • Mixed petunias
  • Scarlet geraniums and pink ivy-leafed types like ‘Galilee’
  • Asters
  • Stocks
Shade Plants for Spring
  • Polyanthus
  • Drumstick and Wanda primulas
  • Small evergreen groundcovers
Summer Flowers for Grey Brick

Other Types of Brick and Flowers

White Painted or Washed Walls: Use really bright colors with plenty of green, or pastel shades of pinks and mauves.

Sunny Aspects Spring
  • Golden wallflowers and forget-me-nots
  • Red wallflowers and daisies
  • Red and blue Hyacinths
  • Crocus
Summer
  • Marigolds
  • Calceolarias
  • Tagetes (Marigolds)
  • Petunias
Shade Plants For Spring
  • Polyanthus
  • Ferns
  • Violas
  • Periwinkle (Vinca)
Summer Flowers for White Brick
  • Impatiens
  • Fuchsia
  • Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’)

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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.