I treat the garden like a room in our house.
Generally, I don’t like white walls either in or out – to me, they do nothing to show off your furniture, ornaments, or plants.
Having said that, our kitchen and spare room are both white.
And all the rooms downstairs are white.
I did say, generally.
A painted garden wall also adds colour, even when nothing is in flower.
The exterior of our house is cream, so I didn’t have to worry about anything clashing.
For this garden, I chose a colour as close to terracotta as I could find. Depending on the time of day, it can look orange, pink, and if I’m lucky, terracotta.
The foliage, flowers, and shadows really stand out against it, and it feels warm.
I’m very happy with it.
Pots and Ornaments
I like continuity in the garden – an element of contemporary garden styles – so I chose one main contrast colour, with tiny touches of other colours.
Having said that, I am planning on at least one gaudily-painted statue peeking out from the undergrowth.
When the undergrowth grows.
If it ever does.
Anyway, the contrast colour I chose first was a tuscan blue, as we were tiling the outdoor shower with blue mosaic tiles.
But after our builder, Joselito (no wasps for him – he was great!), finished the tiling, I decided to go with purple, or aubergine.
I’d bought terracotta tile glue and grout, which caused the tiles to take on a purple tinge from a distance. It looks warm and soft against the terracotta wall – very subtle.
Without the terracotta glue, the bright blues of the tiles would probably have been pretty stark, and although Joselito did a good job, I really wouldn’t have wanted the shower to dominate the garden.
I also used the blue tiles on the corners of the raised bed – but I forgot about the terracotta glue, and used epoxy to attach them. So they just look blue.
Anyway, having chosen the colour, I then went to town.
1 litre of aubergine paint later, and my old scrubbed-down and washed cement pots look brand new.
I also bought some sturdy plastic pots, and a metal pot, which I lightly sanded, wiped well, and painted.
An old light fitting with an interesting shape got a new life as a pot holder, and received the same treatment, as did some MDF sharks I found in a second-hand shop.
With these, I added a couple of coats of exterior varnish to stop the artists’ acrylic on the sharks from fading, and to stop the light fitting from falling apart any further.
The Buddha head got a dye job – his hair used to be turquoise so he’s pretty happy about it.
See him smiling?
Passionfruit Climbing Frame
This is made from left-over timbers that the builders used as scaffolding, and in their formwork. So it’s full of nail holes and character (and termite damage, but I repaired that).
It will be made up of 4 lengths of wood screwed to the wall, with wire mesh stapled to it, and finished off with wooden beading to stop the mesh falling off when the humidity and salt in the air rusts the staples.
I think of everything – it’s all that staring I do.
The wood is a bit warped from sitting around for two years, so I was prepared to paint it terracotta, if the contrast of aubergine against the wall emphasised the distortion too much.
But it’s fine – cottage garden rustic!
Once it’s up, I might tile the top corners because I have hundreds of tiles left that I don’t know what to do with.