Right now, your garden or balcony is probably a riot of colour, as flowering plants, shrubs and rose bushes celebrate the warm, wet, mid-summer growing season.
But how can you keep the colours bright, once the cooler months come around again? Fortunately for the gardeners – and those who just want to enjoy the scenery – a wall, fence, planters or a feature panel painted in a bright hue is not only on trend, but will give your landscape a lift all year round.
Before you go out and buy tins of bright blue or terracotta paint, though, spend a few moments planning the effect you want to achieve.
The first rule is to limit the palette to a single colour, and use the surrounding plants to determine what that should be. For instance, a dark garden will be brightened by a white-washed wall, while a light blue wall will lift and reflect a water feature and cottage garden plants. For a more dramatic effect, a terracotta wall or deep purple panels will provide a dramatic background to strong, large-leaved or strappy plants.
Add another colour only if you have the space to do so, but restrict it to one colour for a wall or fence, with the other colour for benches, pots or the garden shed.
Use the paint to ‘hide’ distracting visual features such as a downpipe or guttering, as it will give you a broader canvas and the overall effect will be much more pleasing and calming.
Use outdoor, all-weather paint, and when choosing the paint colour you like, remember that the colours on a paint-colour card will lose intensity when viewed outside in bright sunshine. If you are in any doubt, try a sample pot first and leave it for a few weeks to get a good idea of how it will look in different weather or times of the day.