Table and chairs with coffee pot and mugs on decking

How can you use colour to transform your garden? Whether you have a small courtyard or a large garden, here is what you need to think about to inject some colour into your outdoor space.

  1. Decide what colours you want in your garden

Before you make any major decisions on landscaping or planting, think about what colours you want in your garden. There are no hard and fast rules here. Scandi minimalism remains popular and many of us are choosing to limit the colours we use inside and outside our homes. Focusing purely on blues and whites in your garden, for example, can create a peaceful space. And if you want to create a contemporary feel for your garden, the Pantone 2018 colour predictions could give you some colour inspiration.

But don’t feel you have to follow fashion. If you love colour, you can have fun creating a bright and vibrant garden that reflects your individual style. Whatever your taste, spending a bit of time thinking about what you want will help you make better decisions. 

  1. Paint your sheds and fences

If your garden is looking dull and needs more colour, a lick of paint can make all the difference. Painting your fence and perhaps choosing a complementary colour for your garden shed, can transform a garden. You can then create a contrast with your plants. For example, a blue fence will really show off a yellow and orange planting scheme. If your plants are darker-coloured, a ligh backdrop will show them off to best effect.

Muted shades like duck egg blue are a popular choice for sheds and summer houses. These shades create a classic look that will work well in any space – especially with older properties. But you may want something more daring – perhaps a bright pink or lime green would better suit your personality.

You can achieve a striking result by coordinating your shed colour with the planting scheme. For example, if you have a lavender bed at the front or your garden, you could tie this in with a shade like Cuprinol Garden Shades Lavender for your shed at the back. 

  1. Consider colour for your landscaping

When thinking about colour in a garden, people often overlook what is underfoot. Dull patios and concrete can make a garden look dreary. Timber decking can provide a good neutral backdrop for colour accessories or plants. Even with natural timber, there is a lot to consider. Softwood decking boards, such as Gripsure non slip softwood decking tiles are made from a slow-grown Redwood timber, which weathers to a natural silvery grey over time. Hardwood boards, such as Gripsure anti slip Balau decking, have a warmer, yellowy tone.

If you want to add more colour to your garden surface, Gripsure custom decking includes coloured non slip inserts. With over 20 different colour options, there is something to suit any garden design. Gripsure custom decking with green inserts was recently used in a striking design for ITV show Love Your Garden with Alan Titchmarsh. Gripsure Aquadeck is another great option if you want a vibrant surface for your deck. This non slip decking, which has anti slip rubber infills with built in drainage, comes in a whole spectrum of colour from teale to gold. 

  1. Use garden furniture and accessories to inject colour to your outdoor space

If you have spent time choosing your colour scheme and getting your hard landscaping right, choosing furniture and accessories is the fun part. The good news is you can make a real difference with little time and money. Perhaps you could brighten up your wooden furniture with new paint, rather than investing in a new set. Painted furniture can look great against natural timber decking but ensure you properly treat the wood first - there is some good advice from House Beautiful here.

If you are planning accessories for your garden, you can take inspiration from Mediterranean courtyard gardens: think vivid blue pots set against a whitewashed wall, or garden seats strewn with colourful Moroccan cushions. 

  1. Planting to create a colour scheme

The plants should be the focus in a garden. Garden designers often choose two or three similar colours, such as yellow and orange. Another approach is to work with contrasting colours, such as purple and yellow. Of course it is personal taste, but planting schemes are usually most effective if the colours are limited to a maximum of five.

Garden planting schemes are often classified as ‘hot’ – reds, yellows, oranges and bright pinks - or ‘cool’ – blue, purple and pale pink. These different shades can create a particular mood, with cool planting giving a calmer vibe. And don’t just focus on flowers – there is a great variety of colour among stems and foliage too, which is important to consider for the winter months when flowers are scarce.

Autumn is the perfect time to do some research and choose which plants you want to grow for the following spring and summer. The RHS Plant Finder is a great tool that allows you to find plants by colour, as well as by plant type and conditions.

Autumn is a time when many of us reflect on our gardens and make plans for how we can improve our outdoor living space for next year. If you want to get more from our outdoor space, focusing on colour is a great place to start.

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