How to Work the Color Wheel to Boost Your Curb Appeal

Last fall we had a giant red maple tree removed from the very front of our house. This left a noticeable bare spot. I haven’t decided what to plant there permanently yet, because I know there will be more sun in this area, I’m just not sure how much. However, the bare spot does nothing for our curb appeal, and it could really use a nice burst of color.

How the Color Wheel Can Boost Curb Appeal

How to use color theory to boost your curb appeal.

Lightweight resin plantersMy sister gave me these two resin planters. They may be the perfect solution to this problem. I stopped at Lowe’s to pick up some flowers. Many of their plants come from Monrovia which I like, because I am familiar with their quality, and can count on their flowers to last all season long. Each pot comes with an information tag , probably the most detailed ones I’ve ever seen. They even offer a number that you can text to, on your phone, for more information.

Basic color wheelWhen you get the to nursery, and this happens to me every year, there’s so much to choose from. I always want to buy some of everything, in every color. However, I know from experience that just doesn’t work. You get home with too much of some, not enough of others, wasting time and money. So how do you choose?  Here’s what I did for the planters. Since I was looking for vibrant, colorful, sun loving annuals, I looked to the color wheel and chose complementary colors. These are contrasting colors opposite each other, and you can be sure will work well together. 

Complementary pink and green flowers

This first group represents red and green. You may think of Christmas when you hear red and green, but lighten them up and you get pink and green. I also used the thriller, filler and spiller concept, choosing one tall plant for the center, a couple of shorter bushy plants for the middle and a few trailing plants to spill out over the edge.

These are the annuals I bought, however, I was very excited to find out that you can actually purchase them ahead of time on Monrovia’s online store, and they’ll ship for free right to your local Lowes. I love that idea. Even better, their site has you enter your zipcode, so you can find the exact plants that will grow best in your area. 

Yellow and purple complementary flowers

I also chose a second set of complementary colors in yellow and purple. I’m not normally a yellow kind of girl, but I loved the look of this pretty yellow Marguerite Daisy with the dark purple calibrachoa, and the golden color of the geranium leaf.

Using color theory is a great way to focus your effort and inspire your designs. Another great place for garden inspiration is Monrovia’s Grow Beautifully Blog. Stop by to see lots of helpful and creative garden ideas, and sign up for their newsletter, to have the latest trends delivered right to your inbox.

View of area where maple tree was removed

Here’s a before shot of the area where our maple tree was removed. It provided a lot of shade so I may need to transfer some of the existing shade lovers, like the hosta and the lily of the valley, to another part of the garden.

Pink and green planter to replace maple tree.

In the meantime, this pretty pink and green planter looks great in its place. It will continue to bush out as it grows, and help fill in the area with lots of bright color.

View of area where shrub was removed.

Here, is another bare spot where I removed a shrub last fall. The issue here is that the little rounded looking shrub on the left is a beauty berry, and it will grow large and fast, filling in most of the space. The beauty berry will also be covered in brilliant purple berries, but not until September.

Yellow and purple planter to replace shrub.

This is why I needed a bright colored pot for this space. If it turns out the beauty berry overcrowds the pot, I can easily move it closer to the sidewalk.

Close up view of pink and green planter.

These planters add such a nice pop of color to the garden, with lots of floral beauty to greet everyone who visits.

Close up view of yellow and purple planter.

A simple fix to boost your curb appeal, by adding a dash of color, with a little help from the color wheel.

About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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  1. Denise Wright says:

    Those planters are gorgeous! I like the purple and yellow one which is unlike me….usually I would go for pink first. I would never had thought of adding a planter to a bare spot. I’ll have to try that.

  2. Patti,
    I’ve never thought about using the color wheel to combine flowers, but this just make my life simpler! I usually pick up what I like, sit them together, look from a few angles, pull one out and substitute another, and do the whole process all over again…it’s painstaking and, even though I enjoy it, takes up a lot of time. This just simplified that process with one little trick!
    I love Monrovia flowers too and that’s a lot of what I buy when I visit Lowe’s. They’re always gorgeous and dependable.
    My trips to Lowe’s will never be the same – thank you for this simple, but useful tip! 🙂

    • Hi Karen,

      Sometimes it’s the little things, right? I’m glad you like my tip. Especially since you are a flower lover and you certainly know just how many beautiful flowers Lowes puts out this time of year from Monrovia. It’s so hard stay focused.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  3. This is such a great solution, Patti, and I, too, love the yellow and purple combo – I may just have to replicate that ‘recipe’ myself. 😉

    • Hi Jami,

      Thanks for the kind words. I love pink and green but this yellow and purple did turn out great so maybe it will be annual event. Excuse the pun. 😉

      Have a great week and thanks for stopping by,

  4. Being an artist as well as a garden nut using the color wheel is second nature, I just never thought to tell others. Duh! I love how you paired these up. I was just debating a trip to the garden center today but now it has been decided. I need more pots which, of course, means I need more plants.
    Love that chartreuse geranium, I need to hunt one down. Hopefully our local garden store has it!

    • Hi Pamela,

      Of course, you are a brilliant painter and could and probably, and should talk about color theory on your site. Whether it’s painting or gardening or both. I think people really appreciate any tips to make their life easier and to help them feel confident in their creations. I know that you already do that in your videos and posts so this topic is a no-brainer for you.

      Thanks for stopping by,

  5. I love this idea of potscaping. And the colours are vibrant and gorgeous. Now I’m thinking about which combos I’d like to put together this year…

    • Hi Tara,

      That’s the perfect word! Potscaping! I’m definitely going to use that one in the future. The Monrovia plants were all so vibrant and I love that you can sit and home and shop on their online store then just pop into Lowes and pick them up. Fun and easy!
      Thanks for stopping by,

  6. What a wonderful idea to use the color wheel for inspiration. Beautiful plant selection. I love the vines.

    • Hi Tammy,

      I’m so glad you liked it. The sweet potato vine is a keeper. I’ve bought it before and it just grows bushier and trails on and on.

      Thanks for stopping by,

  7. I love Monrovia and the vibrant colors you used are beautiful. Thanks for sharing your tips!

    • Hi Renee,

      They do have great plants. Lots to choose from and the root system looked so healthy.

      Enjoy this lovely spring weather and thanks for stopping by,

  8. I always love a yellow and purple color combo! I like the idea of being able to move the pots around to where you need them at different times of the year!

    • Hi Pam,

      I’ve always been more of a pink girl but I am also loving this yellow and purple combo. I also agree is nice to be able to move plants and color around where you need it.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  9. This is such a great idea to use the color wheel. I think my color scheme is going to be purple, orange, and lime green this year.

    Thanks for the great information.

  10. I learned so much from reading your post. I never thought to use the color wheel like that, and it’s absolutely brilliant! I love how you chose the neutral colored planters and dressed them up with vibrant flowers. Really draws your eyes right to those beautiful blooms! Sweet potato vine is my ultimate container MVP. My local Lowe’s doesn’t have it in yet, but as soon as they do, I’ll be the crazy lady with the cart full. I planted up a container for my mom last season with Monrovia’s SPV. She was skeptical at first, I think because they start off small and don’t have the flair that flowers do right away. By the end of the season, she was in love! You post has definitely inspired me to look for some Brachyscome. Wonderful post Patti!

    • Hi Angie,
      Another sweet potato vine lover. I hope that everyone gives it a try because it is a great performer and even grew well for me in a partial shady area.
      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your week!

  11. What an excellent idea post! I love this color wheel approach to gardening. I have several blank spots that will be getting filled soon. Monrovia is one of our favorite brands when hunting for shrubs!!

    • Hi Diane,

      I agree, Monrovia has great selections on shrubs. The first time I learned about Monrovia was buying shrubs years ago. I’m glad that they have many other options easily available to us now.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  12. Great idea! I’ve always loved the purple and yellow combination myself. I’ve envisioned a whole yard in those colors, but then something else catches my eye!

    • Hi Pam,

      You made me laugh because I think so many others, including myself, have a hard time staying focused. Especially when presented with so many beautiful plants.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

  13. I love the idea of using the color wheel for combining colors. I also do that in my garden. Yours is so lovely.

    • Hi Debra,

      Thank you for the lovely compliment on my containers. I’m glad to hear that you are also using color theory for your garden. I’m sure it’s very beautiful too.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  14. I just love the concept of using a color wheel. I love those planters gosh they are stunning!

  15. I really like the way you combined colors for the flowers in your planters. It makes a lot of sense to use the color wheel, just as you would for interior decorating projects. The completed planters look great, and they’ll continue to fill out as the weeks go by. Happy Summer!

  16. This is very so interesting, never heard of a color wheel thanks for this informative post. Your garden is so beautiful.

    • Hi Maria,

      Color theory has always been interesting to me. My favorite classes were always art, but I was steered to more traditional vocations as a young person. I think that’s why I love gardening and all the things I do on the blog. They give me that creative outlet I’ve always enjoyed.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  17. Never thought of using a color wheel for choosing plants! What an idea! Your pots look great in your bare spots. I love gardening too. The one thing about gardening is….there’s always something to do.

    • Hi Florence,

      You are soooo right about gardening. There is always something to do. That’s what keeps it interesting and fun.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  18. Here in Canada we are just starting to get weather suitable for planting! Never thought of using the colour wheel as a guide! You have chosen some beautiful colours!

    • Hi Maureen,

      The weather is just getting good here too. I usually wait until Mother’s Day at the earliest for flowers but this year has been unusually warm.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  19. As an art major in both high school and then college, I am very familiar with the color wheel. Honestly, I never thought to use it in the garden. Genius! 😉

    • Hi Kim,

      Hi Kim,
      So funny! I was not an art major, but always loved any art class I was part of, and you know, that color wheel has been around a long time. I think we all take it for granted, but the theory really seems to work.
      Thanks for stopping by,

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