Nine ways to add colour to the garden

Colourful bedding plants in containers. Photo: Getty Images.

Even the smallest or most uninspiring of gardens can be transformed by colour.

In urban plots, which can often be surrounded by grey buildings, bold use of colour can be essential. It can completely change the feel of a garden and the way we respond to it. Plants are important, of course, but colour can also come in the form of accessories, furniture and feature containers.

More on colour in the garden:

Discover nine ways to add more colour to your garden, below.


Brighten boundaries

When you add colour to a fence, wall, trellis or shed, you create a backdrop for your plants to help them stand out more. It can also help to make smaller spaces feel cosy and intimate. City plots are often a few degrees hotter than surrounding rural areas, too, so use warm walls and fences to grow tender, more exotic plants.


Be strict with plant colour

Keep it simple when it comes to the colour palette for a planting scheme. Choose the colours you need to set the mood of your garden and stick with them. Contrasting colours such as purples and bright greens will create simple harmony and sophistication, while lighter pastel hues and silver foliage will create a feeling of calm.


Incorporate accessories

A few accessories in subtle or statement colours will complete the garden decor. Choose colours that will complement a dominant flower colour, or help to set the mood. Cushions, tablecloths, throws, candle holders, outdoor rugs and bunting all add life and character.


Go bold and beautiful

Furniture doesn’t have to be purely functional. Folding metal chairs and tables, wooden picnic benches and seating can all inject colour, too. Use contrasting shades to make your outdoor living look and feel that extra bit special. Go bright on a bistro set or choose peaceful and understated pastels to lift and lighten a shady spot.


Paint your patio

Floor colour can lift the atmosphere of a dreary space. Wooden decking can be painted an eye-catching shade to enhance coloured foliage and pots. Staining decking to bring out the grain, or painting an uninspiring concrete patio can really influence the feel of the garden.


Add cheerful bedding

Instant colour can be can be added at very little cost with the use of colourful seasonal bedding plants. Plant them in pots and containers or use them to plug gaps in borders when other plants have died down. Find out how to care for summer bedding plants and how to keep them flowering for longer.


Create drama with pots

Pots are especially useful if your plot has limited space for growing. Use coloured pots to make a statement or to liven up a group of ordinary terracotta pots. Three pots of the same colour in different sizes look great together, even more so if planted up with the same simple scheme. You could also try a large colourful pot with a dramatic plant to act as a focal point.


Leave it to the foliage

Don’t overlook the beauty and drama that you can find in leaf colour. Heucheras and heucherellas, for example, come in a huge range of colours that can pep up borders or containers. Dark reds contrast well with limes and creams while grey-greens go brilliantly with yellows and purples.


Use colour for calm

Natural and lighter tones are great for bringing a calm and restful atmosphere to gardens. Materials like wood and stone, when matched with soft hues and cool-coloured flowers, ground a space. Ensure you limit the colour palette, repeat it and use its ‘tonal family’.




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