Make your garden pop by using the power of color.

A colorful garden is the best way to cheer up a landscape. The use of color can be handled in many different ways. Just like painting a picture, color can set a mood and different shades and hues can affect the viewer.

When you design a garden, you want to mix colors, textures and shapes to create a whole picture. Interesting visual effects can shift attention away from unsightly views. Dreary garden spots can become exciting. Use all the different surfaces in a landscape like an artist would use a palate of paints, but think through the way you want your garden to look before you start creating it.Playful garden color at Annie's Annuals NurseryCredit: Photo by Jane GatesThere are many ways to punch up the different effects designing with color can have in your garden. Color can be applied in a number of ways. You can create an exterior color design scheme with coatings and textures painted on surfaces, use colorful décor or you can paint your landscape with colorful plants.

Look at non-living elements in your landscape for using color. To perk up your yard design consider using painted or patterned furniture, fencing, fabric for pillows or outdoor drapes, or by painting accent shades on the outside of doors, gates or wood trim. Add glowing hues with lamps or colored glass work.

Or allow nature's natural living colors to decorate your yard. Consider creating color schemes with plant flowers or colored foliage. Foliage will add interest in the design even in the seasons when flower color is scarce. Leaf colors can sometimes be as brilliant as flower petals -- offering glowing or dark reds, hot pinks, a range of purples, brillant yellows, bright whites, soft oranges and more -- in patterns, stripes, outlines or splashes.

Use color-coordinated plants in designed schemes. You can create a soft, gentle feel by planting with soft pastel flowers. Paint a high energy effect to the garden with warm shades. Reds, oranges and yellows will burn fiery warmth into your landscape. The cooler colors of pinks, purples and blues create a calming atmosphere in a garden. Put together reds, pinks and whites to layout your plants in a colorfully romantic scheme. Or plant a garden bed with all-one tone. A white-flowered garden speckled with variegated green and white foliage will glow out of the shade. Or using a monochrome choice of different flowers all in the same hue can outline a landscape creating a formal effect. Look to darker shades in paint, décor, flowers or leaves to create mystery. You can even design a shadow garden of all dark foliage plants contrasted up against a light colored wall.

Different colors harmonize well together. Sometimes even fighting colors can serve a purpose in a color scheme. One example would be to create a 'hot' spot of clashing oranges, yellows and brilliant pinks in a sea of cool blues and purples to 'paint' excitement into an overall landscape design.

Color design schemes can define the feel of your yard. Don’t just plunk down whatever plants or decor you like into your garden. Paint in three dimensions with colors. Sketch out your ideas before you put them to work in  your yard so you can see the effects you'll be creating. Then move outside and use those plants and structures to set the mood of your whole landscape.