How To Build a Rainbow Garden

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Cultivate a colorful landscape

There’s nothing quite as stunning or as colorful as a rainbow garden. This garden style features plants resembling the rainbow’s colors in attractive arches, pathways, shapes, and more. Rainbow flower gardens signify happiness, acceptance, health, and positivity for many cultures and societies worldwide. Here we’ll teach you how to add a significant pop of color to your landscape and design the rainbow garden of your dreams!

Rainbow Garden

 Pictured above: Red & Yellow colors –  Fire Spinner Ice Plant, Purple color –  Catmint, Pink spikes –  Beardtounge, exotic  Mangave

3 easy steps to design a rainbow garden

#1. Get inspired

We always say the first step to designing a garden is to find inspiration, and in this case, extra-colorful inspiration! Begin the search on Google, through our blog, or create a board on Pinterest and start saving your favorite designs. This is a great opportunity to visit your local botanical garden or nature center as well. There’s an array of different garden styles and layout options to consider. Get inspiration on our Pinterest, HERE.

#2. Sketch your layout

Now that you’re equipped with some inspiration, it’s time to envision it in your space by sketching a layout. Decide your garden location and measure the space, then start by outlining the area on a sheet of paper. Draw the shape of your garden along with its surroundings, like hedges, trees, tables, benches, and walls. Perhaps you’re planting a colorful pathway or creating a maze of a garden oasis; the possibilities are endless! When you’re filling in the colors easy way to remember the rainbow is the acronym ROY-G-BIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.)

#3. Choose your flowers

Gardening isn’t just about appearance – keeping growing zones, light requirements, and watering needs in mind when selecting any plant for your garden is essential. Opt for plants that require the same conditions for the most cohesive garden. You may not be able to use the exact plant you find in your inspiration, but with thousands of plants to choose from, it’s easy to find colorful replacements you may love even more! We’ve listed some of our favorite plants for each color below, and while they all may thrive in full sun, we have plenty of other recommendations for shade. Read our colorful plants for shade gardens blog HERE, or find a full list of our shade plants HERE. 

Our rainbow garden favorites

Many of the featured perennials, like coneflower, bellflower, phlox, and ice plant come in nearly every color of the rainbow!

Red: Geum, primrose, geranium, rose, petunia, red coneflower, red bee balm.

Orange: Chrysanthemum, ‘Caramel’ coral bells, milkweed, red hot poker, poppy, marigold, blanket flower.

Yellow: Yarrow, milkweed, tickseed, yellow coneflower, false sunflower, ice plant, black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia).

Green: Japanese painted fern, ‘Strictus’ maiden grass (or other ornamental grasses), sedum, viburnum.

Blue: Plumbago, clematis, blue Siberian iris, spike speedwell, bluestar, bugleweed.

Indigo: Salvia, bluebeard, phlox, cranesbill, pansy, baptisia. 

Violet: Lavender, lupine, bellflower, lilac, allium, cranesbill, phlox, dahlia, hummingbird mint, perennial violet.

Colorful rainbow garden

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The possibilities are endless!

Rainbow gardens aren’t just reserved for perennial flowers; you can create them by planting fruits, vegetables, and more! This also provides an excellent opportunity to educate your children on the importance of cultivating and caring for the earth by working with nature, so consider getting them involved in the process of creating the rainbow garden. Invite all people of life (and pollinators) into the garden to promote love in a positive environment. You can even plant in a garden bed, in containers, or on a balcony window; the symbolism of a rainbow garden can follow you nearly anywhere. 

“When there is love in the heart, there are rainbows in the eyes, which cover every black cloud with gorgeous hues.” — Henry Ward Beecher

Written by: Lindsey Griffith, click here to read bio.

Questions, comments, or concerns? Let us know! We have an experienced, knowledgeable staff ready to make sure your garden turns out perfect. Or check out our other blogs, here.