Inspiration for Color coordinating The House to The Garden

Cute summer towns are a haven for houses with adorable little gardens.  They are always tidy and like a properly dressed lady (whose handbag always coordinates with her shoes), the plants often coordinate with the house.

I’m not exactly this type of gardener (or dresser for that matter) – I tend to either a) be too frazzled to try (and instead, I am drawn to the fashion standby of black – yes even my house is black), or b) I try to make some other bigger experiment with my choices (which are sometimes brilliantly successful, sometimes dismally disappointing). I envy those who can follow fashion rules (I just can’t make myself do it!), because they are reliably elegant and neat and tidy – so I am cataloging some of the inspiration hoping that maybe I can use it in my own slightly crazier schemes.

Black & White & Cherry

Plants to pair with a richly colored exterior trim house spirea and wine and roses weigelia by rochelle greayer

My ‘cute summer town’ of choice was Bar Harbor, Maine where I spent last weekend. There are lots of sweet houses with color – matching (both harmonizing and complimenting) plants and shrubs here.

On a morning walk I was drawn in by this house.  I know – the shot isn’t that sexy – despite my total willingness to trespass for the sake of this blog – but the combo of a crisp white house that had a rich cherry/ oiled teak or ipe colored deck (i.e. nice tones of deep red) and black railings and trim was eye-catching enough to make me cross the street for a closer look.  What really took this front garden to another level though, was the Spiraea and the Weigela that complimented the decking and trim and added depth and texture to the whole curb view.

Get the look with:

Big Bang Double Play Spiraea

and Fine Wine Weigela

Blue & White

mock orange and delhimium plants to pair with blue and white houses rochelle greayer

After noticing the first one, I had my radar up for other combos throughout the weekend.  An easy one is white and blue (white house blue plants, or blue house with white plants).  These were a few of my favorites using mock orange and Delphinium.

I also noted a great combo where an imposing inn with a wrap around porch was surrounded with a sea of hostas that looked something like Shadowland Whee! Hosta.  The inn was painted a pale yellow color and the hostas were a perfect blend between the green of the lawn and the yellow of the house. (No shot of this is forthcoming as it was raining and I was driving by in a car and that’s just dangerous).

Feeling inspired on my return from up north, I’ve put together a few combinations that I thought might help, should any of us want to create a perfectly coordinated ‘look’.  Yellow, grey and pale green (along with white, which we already discussed) are among the most common house colors so I played with those for ideas.

Yellow & Grey

Plants to pair with a yellow house hosta and russian sage by rochelle greayer

Yellow and grey is a very modern color combination but the Russian sage (with its purple flowers and airy, slightly wild habit) will keep things from being stark. Alternatively, if you have a shady area, try the beautiful grey and yellow foliage of the Hosta ‘Autumn Frost’.

Grey & Grange

Plants to pair with a grey house diervilla kodiak orange by rochelle greayer

Grey and orange are also a very modern and striking combination that is warm and welcoming.  To keep it sophisticated, try plants that feature orange and rust colored foliage rather than blooms.

Green & Red


Plants to pair with a green house red ballon viburnum and oso easy double red landscape roses by rochelle greayer

Green and red are great for a striking and lively combination as they are complimentary colors.  A house that is more yellow or blue than straight-up green will retain the dynamic nature of the pairing with out suffering the sometimes jarring effects of opposite on the color wheel combinations.

images: Rochelle Greayer and Proven Winners
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Proven Winners. I am not an employee of Proven Winners and all opinions are my own.

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Do you color coordinate your house to your garden? Some ideas to give it a try.

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About Rochelle Greayer

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. Mahée Ferlini on July 9, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Great color schemes, I especially liked the yellow and grey ‘autumn frost’ theme. I enjoyed reading your post also. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Laura Eisener on August 11, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    These are beautiful color combinations! I might add that with the blue and white especially, the white sets off the blue better than blue alone, especially where plants are involved. Blue flowers like Delphinium against the green of foliage doesn’t seem as vivid as when white is nearby – either white Hydrangeas planted among the blue ones, or a white fence or house as a background. Pale yellow can be an effective foil to blue as well.

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