Blue, purple, pink and white flowers can be combined to great effect in a cool-toned planting scheme. Add silver foliage, too, to complete the look.
By avoiding hot colours (red, orange, yellow) you’ll create a harmonious design that’s restful to the eye – perfect if you need an area of the garden in which to relax, wind down and enjoy some quiet time.
Another benefit of keeping to the cooler side of the colour wheel is that pale flowers are particularly resonant during twilight, helping to brighten up shady spots.
- Six garden colour schemes to try
- Plants with purple flowers
- Plants with pink flowers
- Plants for a jungle-style border
Keep it cool, with the help of our plant recommendations, below.
Commonly known as lungworts, these spring-flowering perennials have charming, spotted leaves topped by blue, purple or pink flowers, depending on the cultivar you choose. They’re fabulous in shady borders and are a valuable source of spring nectar for pollinators.
Height x spread: 50cm x 50cm.
With their usually purple flowerheads, there are many alliums that could be grown in a cool-toned border, but Allium caeruleum is the only allium with true blue flowers. Grow this summer-flowering species in full sun with well-drained soil.
H x S: 80cm x 10cm.
Bowman’s root, Gillenia trifoliata, is a beautiful perennial with starry white flowers in June and July that are perfect for brightening up the partially shaded spots it enjoys.
H x S: 1m x 50cm.
These elegant perennials enjoy growing in a moist, well-drained soil, but are otherwise suited to full sun or partial shade. The tallest veronicastrums can reach over 2m tall and all attract pollinating insects.
H x S: 2.5m x 1m.
Himalayan blue poppies, Meconopsis, have some of the most stunning true blue flowers, though there are white- and purple-flowered varieties to grow, too. Plant them in moist, neutral to acidic soil in dappled to full shade.
H x S: 1.2m x 45cm.
H x S: 50cm x 50cm.
Towards the end of summer and into autumn, Michaelmas daisies perk up displays while many other plants are fading.
H x S: 1m x 50cm.
Deservedly one of the most popular border perennials, delphinium flower spikes are covered in abundant blooms during the summer months. Flower colours include purples, pinks, blues and white, so there’s plenty of choice if you have more specific colours in mind.
H x S: 2m x 1m.
These architectural thistles bear steel-blue flowers atop silvery, cobwebbed leaves from mid- to late summer. They’re easy to grow, pollinators love them and they make beautiful cut flowers, fresh or dried.
H x S: 90cm x 45m.
For cool-toned foxgloves to grow, go for one of the many cultivars of our native foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, or try the species itself. They’re good for bumblebees and being woodland plants, are well-suited to growing in shady areas.
H x S: 1.5m x 45cm.