Orange is one of those high risk, high rewards colors to bring into the garden. We gardeners tend to have strong feelings about this often polarizing color. Reactions can range from groans (“anything but orange!”) to zestful excitement (“where’s the orange?!”), but rarely does one pass by a garden that’s been juiced up with this shade without doing a double take.
It can take confidence to inject a bit of this hue into the landscape, especially if you are a fan of misty pinks, white, and purples. What orange does, when used well, is to make everything that’s around it that much more brilliant. The garden above, designed by Piet Oudolf, a true master of color weaving, is a perfect example. Greens are greener, purples are more intense, even pinks seem richer with the addition of the orange-flowering helenium.
Here are a few examples of how to incorporate orange into a landscape. This season, if you don’t have orange in the garden, challenge yourself to try something new. And if this is your go-to hue, maybe add a new plant or two (here are ten we love.)