On average, we Brits spend around three years of our working lives in the garden[i], proving that we indeed are a nation that loves our gardening. But wouldn’t it be nicer if our lovely, welcoming gardens were just a bit more… us? The garden is an extension of the home, and if you’re home’s as bright and bouncy as you are, you don’t want that to stop at the front door! You (and your family) can take on many simple projects to add the perfect splash of colour to your garden and keep it looking bright and peppy all year round. Here are our tips for making a beautifully colourful garden, with some great project ideas to keep everyone busy!
Choose A Colour Scheme
Choosing a colour scheme will help you set up a coordinated garden in which the different elements work aesthetically together. A garden’s colour scheme can be treated in the same way as the interior of your home, and, just like interior design, there is a floral colour wheel that will help you see which colours are a harmonious match. Colours opposite each other on the colour wheel will complement each other, so choose a few of your favourites, and you can start planning out your vivid garden right away!
Plant A Border For All Year Colour
Planting a lovely, varied border is an almost instant way to add colour for the green-fingered amongst us. However, when planting a border, you must consider more than what’s in flower at the moment. For year-round colour, you’re going to want to plant different seeds that will bloom throughout the year. Various seasonal blooming shrubs and plants will happily live together in a border, and the variety will make for exciting new blooms each season.
Start your border by bringing in some hardy shrubs for a robust base. These leafy plants will flower for many years, so plant a combination that will bloom at different times of the year for brand new colours as the weather changes. Follow these with a range of perennials and bulbs that will flower for a fair few months and finish it off with some annuals to fill any gaps.
There are so many plants and shrubs that will fill a border perfectly, and some beautiful ones that you could try include:
- Scarlet Firethorn
- Dwarf Lilac
- Japanese Aralia
- Crimson King
- Lady’s Mantle
Paint Garden Sleepers
Your border edges are just as crucial as your borders and are so easy to colour that you probably haven’t even thought of them! Choose a good quality coloured fence paint to add an extra strip of colour beneath your blooming borders, and apply a few even coats. Make sure to sand down your sleepers and treat them appropriately before colouring to increase the longevity of the paint. You’ll likely have to repaint your sleepers every year or two to keep the colour looking strong, but it will be worth it for that lovely vibrant colour you get to see even on the gloomier days!
Colourful Garden Furniture
One of the easiest ways to add some colour to your garden without invading the flowerbeds is to buy some colourful garden furniture. Brightly painted chairs, tables and benches on the patio or across the lawn will add a pop of colour to any garden. Place some brightly coloured pieces against a black backdrop for a dramatic statement, or use some lovely sunny colours to keep that summery feel in your garden all year round. Alternatively, you could mix and match your favourite shades for a personalised yet balanced style. Don’t forget to consider the texture and material, too – metal bistro sets in bright colours are fantastic for smaller gardens. Still, long, comfy sofas and coffee tables look beautiful on a patio.
Add Bright Accessories
With blazing garden furniture must come some dazzling accessories. You can get so many fun garden accessories in various colours, shapes and designs, so take some time to shop around and find a few statement pieces that you love and match your colour scheme. Think outside of the box with your garden accessories – birdbaths, flower boxes, fountains, hanging baskets, gnomes, sculptures, pedestals and sundials all count, so bring in some unique pieces for a twist in your décor. A great way to get the kids involved is to let them paint some coloured stones for the garden. Bring in some flat, dry rocks, hand over the acrylic paint and let them go wild!
Arrange Your Flower Beds
How you arrange your flowers in their bed can make a big difference in the impact of your garden. However, you may be tempted to go crazy with colour – which is good! – using a few repetitive shades and blooms in your garden will bring it together and balance it out. By all means, choose as many plants for your flower beds as you’d like but, amid all that variety, plant clusters of the same colours to draw the eye and create a more harmonious finish. Block planting is also perfect for splashes of colour because it is done in tighter areas and brings all that vibrancy together.
Of course, for a proper colourful garden, you’ll need some evergreen blooms to keep your flower beds vibrant throughout even the darkest of days. Some plants that are colourful all year round include:
- Yew trees
- Siberian Iris
Paint Some Wall Art
If brick walls or tall fences surround your garden, don’t let these get off easy! Release your inner Michelangelo and turn those boring borders into colourful murals or feature walls. Take some brightly coloured fence paints, plenty of different sized brushes, and get the whole family involved in creating a wall of art to be proud of in your garden. Not only will it make the perfect vibrant focal point, but it’ll be a lovely story to tell new visitors to your property. You have quite a bit of artistic freedom here – you could paint stripes of different colours, a beautiful nature scene, a jungle illusion, or even have a go at recreating your favourite piece of art. The options for this one are endless!
Use Bright Containers
If your garden space is limited (or you just want to fit even more flowers in!), choosing to plant in bright plant pots is a great way to brighten up the space. There are plenty of multi-sized pots in styles that will suit any taste, so look for some of the most vibrant ones you can find to make an effortless statement. Try and find some matching hanging baskets and window containers to round off the style. On the other hand, you could buy regular pots and decorate them yourself. Glitter, shells, paints and pebbles all make unique decorations, and it’s an excellent activity for the kids. Using colourful pots and containers is perfect for smaller gardens, and can also bring some of the garden to the patio, so be imaginative with your arrangements.
Add Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting is a must all year round, and you don’t have to neglect your colour scheme when choosing your lighting. Soft, coloured lights set a beautiful atmosphere across the garden and will light it up in a flattering glow that brings to light the rest of the colour you’ve spent all your time adding. Wind strings of fairy lights around the patio or your seating area, hang lanterns all over the garden, add stake lights along the pathway, anything you can think of that will light up your space and keep the parties going long into the night. Even better, many garden lights are solar-powered these days so that they can light up your garden all year round!
Always Be On The Look Out!
There are always extra spaces to add colour! Everyone’s garden and tastes are different, so keep your eye out for places you could add a bit of flair to and make your garden all yours. Add in some colourful garden furniture, paint your walls, throw up some fairy lights, and open up your garden gates to all your friends and family. There aren’t really any rules when it comes to making a more colourful outdoor space, so choose what you like and how you like it – it’s you who’ll never want to be out of it, after all!
Do you have any tips of your own for adding colour to a garden? Let us know in the comments below!
Angela Waxler is an ex florist, a professional gardener and has been working in the industry for well over 25 years. Angela has worked with brands all over the world during her career.