Plant Color Palettes

I have been playing around with a color swatch creating tool.  I am trying to figure how I might possibly use this for  client presentations or perhaps even in the design process.  I was thinking it might be fun for a reverse engineering approach to garden design (is that possible?) I am not sure, but the results are fun anyway….do you think it is useful?

plant image

I am a little frustrated with it….it misses some colors.  Like with this one, it doesn’t capture the purple…probably because there is relatively little of it…but to me that is the best part.

hammemelis which hazel intermida

image by clive nichols

image by clive nichols

Do you use anything like this?  While novel and fun…I am not sure it is terribly useful to me….

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Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.


  1. Pottering Around on March 9, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    The are several interesting colour combination tools online. The problem we see is that colour in nature is by no means an exact science and colours on a computer screen bare little resemblance to colours in the real world.

    Marina Berger

    • rochelle on March 9, 2010 at 3:48 pm

      I agree Marina, I can’t tell you how many times I have had a client asking why their pink flower isn’t the exact shade of pink that was in the picture that I showed them. I was playing with this tool because I thought maybe if I started with the flower/ plant first, then using a tool like this, I might be more able to coordinate accessories like furniture fabric, pots of whatever… recognizing that of course the garden just doesn’t work like my living room…in the garden it will always change and be different where as if my sofa doesn’t look good with my wall paint today it never will….

  2. Angela Davis on March 9, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I do use an app on my iPhone called “myPANTONE.” I use it mostly if I want to coordinate the colors on my blog to certain colors in a picture. It isn’t a perfect science. Most of the time when I add the selected color to my blog it looks a lot different than it did on my phone. I normally have to do some tweaking until I get the color I was looking for.

    It’s fun in a nerdy kind of way.

  3. Tracy McQue on March 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    I use Adobe Kuler for similar reasons – check

    Discussing similar topic on my blog a week or two back:

  4. Jennifer on March 9, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    I LOVE this tool. I used it here to think about colors for a painted element in the garden. What better way besides bringing the whole yard to the paint chip aisle? Best for inspiration than matching, but still.[email protected]/4331280276/in/set-72157604490235172/

  5. Andrew on March 9, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    I use Kuler too, and I think tools like these are helpful as a starting point, especially for matching furniture — I hadn’t thought of that at all! For me, there’s nothing more helpful in combining plants themselves than photos of actual plant combos, and I’m forever dogearing books and magazines with examples I like. Even then, light has such an effect on color that sometimes it’s hard to really see until you can play with color components in the flesh.

  6. Pottering Around on March 10, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    We look at our colour schemes and ideas as concepts and like any concept there may be some variations and changes made once you come to final execution. Sometimes mother nature puts here two cents in as well!

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