As the bright blooms and lazy summer days drift into the distance, now is the perfect opportunity to reimagine your outside space. Think of the winter garden as a green and earthy canvas just waiting to be splashed with colour. If you are in need of a little inspiration, then we have put together 7 easy ways of embracing colour into your garden this winter…
A Floral Feast
Perfect for introducing a rich fiery glow, reminiscent of cosy nights around the fire, a Chinese Lantern plant really adds warmth to the garden in the colder months. This herbaceous perrenial grows to between 0.5 – 1m in height and width, and produces distinct orange bell flowers. Not only can you cut the stems and use in pretty floral bouquets to brighten up your home, Chinese Lanterns thrive in both city and coastal gardens. Best grown in containers, why not try planting up a terracotta pot – you could even create a bespoke planter by painting on patterns, or blocks of colour, as seen below in Farrow & Ball exterior paint.
If orange isn’t your colour, there are plenty of other options at this time of year. With an abundance of colours available, whether you prefer the romantic heart-shaped petals and patterned leaves of cyclamen, the bright jovial faces of winter pansies, or perhaps the wilderness-like quality of heathers with their purple, pink and russet flowering foliage, you are guaranteed a feast of colour even in the coldest of months.
Invite the indoors outside, and welcome the outdoors in
The Hellebore plant produces a mass of beautiful white blooms in late winter, fading to a softer shade of pink, perfect for north or east facing patios, creating a calming outdoor atmosphere for entertaining.
Take inspiration from your garden and create a relaxing winter hideaway indoors. Farrow & Ball have recently launched a new florals wallpaper collection, including their maximalist design Helleborus. Available in 7 colourways, transform your home into a wonderful retreat, then sit back and relax as the petals of this beautiful motif unfurl before your eyes.
Encourage our wildlife
Adding wooden bird and butterfly houses or bug hotels to your garden not only adds a splash of winter colour for you to enjoy, but provides much needed nesting and feeding areas for the birds and insects during those frosty months. Take inspiration from Garden Selection, Notonthehighstreet.com, and give a helping hand to our feathered friends with a nesting box, reminiscent of New England beach huts in yellow.
Think outside the box
When we say the word ‘Perspex’, we usually think of plastic coloured boxes that we keep our odds and ends in, out of sight. Well, now it’s time to think ‘outside the box’ and go bigger. This is exactly what French conceptual artist Daniel Buren did in 2016 as part of his temporary art installation entitled, Une Pause Colorée, in the central courtyard of Paris’ Hôtel Le Bristol. Buren created an urban pergola made from the tropical coloured acrylic sheets, arranged by colour alphabetically by their French names.
Although the majority of us don’t have a garden with the vast landscape of Hôtel Le Bristol, we can still mirror the elements of Buren’s design on a smaller scale. Sheets of coloured Perspex fixed to wooden frames can be used to create vibrant ‘room dividers’ in the garden. Placed strategically, you can structure the garden into smaller ‘rooms’, creating spaces for your veg patch, herb garden or relaxed seating areas. On sunny winter days as the sun filters through the coloured Perspex, observe how the colours reflect and flex, completely changing the mood and atmosphere of your garden space throughout the day.
If your outside space is too small to divide, another way to create a designated outside living area is to paint a wall or fence in a block of colour. You can even paint plant containers around the edge of your space in the same colour, or use complementary coloured cushions and accessories to create a sense of flow and continuity in your outdoor retreat. Colour is a simple and effective tool to create focal points, mark out specific areas, and create a particular ambience. See the example below taken from Real Homes Magazine as part of their ‘garden design made easy’ article.
One of the simplest and immediate ways to brighten up a winter garden is to add colour with accessories, big or small. Colour is key in creating your outdoor atmosphere – plump for soft pastels, cream, and grey tones for a tranquil retreat, or if you are looking for a party vibe, a combination of tropical brights and stark white, never fail to deliver that Majorcan holiday air.
The Frilly chair by Kartell available from Heals, comes in three colours. With its wavy, waterfall-like design, it’s perfect for providing a wash of colour to any patio.
A Garden Hideway
The idea of utilising garden space for work and hobbies seems more popular than ever at the moment, and who wouldn’t want to swap their busy daily commute, for a short walk to the end of their garden? The choice of garden cabins, studios, sheds and even Shepherd’s huts are astounding – long gone are the days of the standard 6 x 4ft wood-varnished shed, used only to house the lawnmower and bicycles.
No matter the size of your outside space, there is a garden hideaway for you. With a coat of exterior paint, you can transform the most unusual looking structures into bright and inspiring places to work or relax in.
So, as the days get colder and the nights draw in, get ready, and embrace colour into your garden this winter.
Header image: Distinctive Garden