Red is the boldest and most provocative hue on the colour wheel. It’s also the complementary colour for green. In gardens, where green is the dominant colour, our eyes experience red at its maximum intensity. But don’t let red’s forcefulness deter you. Instead, learn how to take advantage of its strengths.
If you want to introduce energy and excitement into your garden, you want red in your design palette.
Red flowers stand out from their surroundings and demand to get noticed. In a large garden, you can use this to your advantage. Red attracts attention, especially from a distance. As you’re drawn closer, that brilliance gradually quiets down and you can begin to see the flower’s shape and form.
In a small garden, it’s easy for red flowers to dominate. To contain their enthusiasm, consider confining them to containers.
Many plants also sport red foliage and will allow for permanent colour contrast in your garden. Here are some suggestions of plants that will add a touch of warmth to your garden:
- Roses– You can’t have a list of red flowers without including roses, they are a classic garden staple. These perennial shrubs have tons of different cultivars, and their hardiness will depend upon the variety that you choose.
- Sedums & succulents – There are many varieties of sedums and succulents, with different shapes and sizes. Some feature red blossoms, while others have red foliage.
- Geranium– This classic red flower is very popular, and the contrast between the vibrant blooms and the green leaves is a striking combination. They attract bees and butterflies, and do well in both containers and the ground.
- Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)– Another gorgeous perennial with spiky tall red blooms. They do well in damper shady areas and the hummingbirds will be sure to find them too.
- Begonia (Begonia obliqua) – Begonias can grow up to two feet tall, there are different species of begonias so this will determine their height. These beautiful flowers will bloom during summer until the cold sets in.
- Dahlia (Dahlia pinnata) – Dahlias where first found in Mexico and have become their national flower. Their unique shape makes them a very attractive flower for gardeners. They flower from mid summer until late autumn.
- Gladiolus (Gladiolii varieties) – Gladiolus can grow up to 1.2m tall and you can grow several of them close together to get some amazing views. Their Blooming season is summer so make sure to plant them during spring!
- Flowering Sage (Salvia varieties) – Salvias can be a great addition to any garden. Their tall and slender look is very hard to find in other flowers and can improve the look of your garden. Salvias bloom from spring to autumn.
- Mandeville (Diplidenia varieties) – These bushy plants characterized by small, pointy green leaves with a slight, gloss-like sheen to them and are a shade of deep green. Red tube-shaped flowers appear throughout summer.
- Bottle Brush (Callistemon endeavour) – One of the best red bottlebrushes on an upright and compact shrub. Very large flower heads in spring and autumn on a very adaptable plant.
Red flowers are gorgeous, and really stand out in any garden. If you’re looking to add dramatic pops of colour to your flower beds, then get those red blooms in straight away.