I find that one of the most spectacular and enjoyable aspects of the landscape profession is the coordination of color when planning a landscape design. One would think that it would be easy to determine color by merely looking at the care tag on a plant or tree, but it can be a more complex endeavor than that. Additionally, most flowering shrubs and trees planted in New Jersey will only bloom for a few weeks out of the year, so it is also important to understand leaf color. Because the leaves of most shrubs and trees last a lot longer than the flowers, coordinating color schemes based on the foliage can make a huge difference in the aesthetic value of planting beds. Many species of plantings also have leaves that will change colors throughout the seasons. Below are some other factors that can drastically affect your landscape.
Light or lack of light: Depending on the plant or tree, some flowers or foliage will tinge a much lighter or darker shade when exposed to varying light conditions. Other plants may even turn an entirely different color. If you were to take the sun-loving Gold Thread Cypress which has a bright yellow/golden color and plant it in a location that gets part-sun/part-shade, it would probably flourish, but may turn completely green.
Soil: PH levels and other characteristics of soil can also affect the color of flowers and/or foliage. You might purchase a beautiful hydrangea with light pink flowers, only to find that they changed to a blue or white flower.
Grower: Depending on the region of the country where a plant or tree is cultivated, you may find that the same species may have an entirely different color of foliage or flower. Many of the plants and trees found in New Jersey nurseries arrive from growers in California, Oregon and the Carolinas.
Make sure to consult a landscape professional to ensure that your vision and the color scheme of the landscape of your dreams will indeed meet your expectations. Because your “curb appeal” and “outdoor living space” can boost the resale value of your home considerably, it is crucial to get this right the first time!
Scott Parker is the owner of Parker Homescape, a design/build landscape firm that has been recognized as one of the Top Landscape Design/Build Firms in the United States, and has been recognized locally by Design NJ Magazine, New York Spaces Magazine, The Suburban News and many other prestigious publications. In 2012, Parker Homescape’s award winning work was chosen to be published in a book that is currently being distributed worldwide and they are also a five time recipient of the prestigious “Best of Houzz” award.
For more information on Parker Homescape, visit their website and design portfolio at: www.parkerhomescape.com or call (908) 626-1100