Colour scheme

A colour scheme is another way to narrow down your plant choices. I have used simple hot or cool colour schemes, but you could also use pastels, brights, blue/yellow, purple/orange, or whatever combination you dream up.

By repeating a few colours in your garden, you’ll also reduce the chance of ending up with a jumble of clashing colours. Some people find native plants messy or weedy-looking. but sticking to a fixed colour scheme, planting in drifts, and repeating flower shapes and colours will help keep your pollinator garden looking good.

Start with blue and white

I like to start with blue and white flowers because they seem go with everything. By ‘blue’, I mean purple-blue as it is rare to find true blue flowers. I’ve read that bees prefer flowers in white, purple-blue, and yellow.

Anise hyssop, my favourite ‘blue’ flower that attracts many bumblebees and butterflies.
Non-native Salvia ‘Nay Night’ is a darker purplish blue flower that attracts bumblebees and some butterflies in late spring. Here is a European Skipper drinking nectar.

Hot colours

In my pollinator garden, I also use hot-coloured blooms, such as red, orange, peach, and yellow. I had already been using these colours in my front yard shade garden closer to the house. I like that I can repeat this colour combo in the fall with the changing leaves of native shrubs.

Hot colour scheme in the pollinator garden using red, yellow, orange and peach, plus blue and white.
Annuals in blue and orange filled in the pollinator garden during its first year.
Annual Mexican Tithonia attracts many butterflies and bumblebees.

Cool colours

I use a cooler, and calmer, colour scheme of pink, purple, blue and white in the back yard.

Pollinator plants in a calmer colour scheme of pinks, purples, blues and whites in the back garden.
Purple ironweed in the back garden.