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Colourful Ideas for a Garden

As summer heats up many are spending more time outdoors in the garden but if your garden is mostly foliage, concrete or lawn, we offer some ideas on easy ideas to bring colour into the garden.



The other day I was watching next door's gardener trimming off all the colourful bracts of flowers from my trumpet vine and thinking to myself, "why would be cut off all the flowers?" And then I remembered that my next-door neighbours abhor anything growing in the garden or creeping over the wall.

The front of their garden is a concrete driveway with concrete pavers all along the front of the house and nothing but lawn at the back of the house. Not a single plant is allowed to show its leaves and it is totally without life or colour. Go me to thinking about ways you could add colour to your garden without adding plants because not everyone wants the responsibility of taking care of a garden.

It also brought to mind that many rental properties are treated in the same way - absolutely nothing growing in the garden. Probably to keep the outdoor area as minimal as possible so that the tenant doesn't have to spend time or money caring for it, or the tenant themselves simply couldn't be bothered. Taking this into consideration, I decided it might be an interesting article to look at how you can add colour to a garden without any plants.








There are so many ways to add colour to a garden - without the addition of any plants whatsoever. The most obvious things that bring colour to any garden are accessories in bold, vibrant colours. Plus, if you are renting the home you live in, or prefer to have a maintenance-free garden, accessories are no fuss and you can take them with you wherever you go. So what type of accessories should you look for to add colour to a garden?


• Colourful flower pots

Colourful for indoors and especially colourful for an outdoor garden desperately needing a splash of colour, painted flower pots are probably one of the easiest ways to bring in some bright colour. You don't even need to buy expensive pots these days, since most paints will adhere to plastic containers.


GOOD TO KNOW: If you plan on painting inexpensive plastic flower pots, sand them down with 120-grit sandpaper before painting. This will give the paint something to grip onto and the painted finish will last longer.


After painting your flower pots, fill them up with succulents, cactus, or other low-maintenance plants that have colourful or interesting foliage. If you do a few colourful pots, you can set them in a dull corner where they can make a colourful impact on the garden.





• Rainbow pebbles and rocks

If you enjoy collecting pebbles when on holiday, or already have a few large pebbles in the garden, grab some craft paint and add colourful designs to the pebbles. Place these in flower beds, alongside a pathway or make an arrangement with plain and painted pebbles for an eye-catching feature. 

This particular painting project is also one where the kids can get involved during school holidays or on weekends. Give them brightly coloured craft paint and let them use their imagination to paint beautiful creatures for the garden.


There is also the option for painting pebbles to resemble colourful cactus. Combine this with painted flower pots and you can set up a bold and colourful display that is zero maintenance.


• Paint a colourful feature wall

In your home, a colourful wall is just one of the ways to introduce a feature, but you can also do this outdoors as well. Choose a colour that ties in with your table accessories, or a colour you love, or even one that just brings a touch of whimsy to the garden. The one thing about painting a wall is that, if you don't like it or grow tired of the colour, you can always paint over it!


It's amazing what a splash of bold colour can bring to a garden - with or without the addition of plants. In the garden below, the uprights of the pergola are painted to match the feature wall and take the eye on a colourful journey. The addition of yellow and orange against the azure blue creates a start and interesting contrast that cannot be missed.


While you may not be able to paint a wall in a rental property, the next point is definitely something you can do.







• Hang colourful fabrics

In a rental property, you are restricted by what you can do, but this idea is definitely one that you can put into use and it's one that will most definitely bring colour to any garden.


Use fabrics to create a sanctuary in the garden with a ready-made gazebo that can be purchased at just under R1 500 and a selection of bright, bold plain or patterned fabrics.


Incorporate colourful fabrics to surround a pergola or gazebo, especially those that you can buy affordably at most home accessory stores. Instead of using the plain sides that are usually attached to offer shade and protection, replace these with colourful fabrics that sway in the breeze and fill your senses with colour.


• Introduce colour and pattern

Last but not least is using fabrics and accessories to decorate a patio or dining table in bold or muted colours. This is the perfect way to bring colour to a garden and also bring a smile to your face and that of your family and friends. Bright colours have a way of making us feel happy, so don't miss out on happiness in the garden.


If you regularly like to entertain, bringing vibrant colours into the space will set the mood for a fun and lively atmosphere. If you have a sewing machine, visit your local fabric store for colourful fabrics that can be used to make a throw for your patio furniture or cushion covers.


Now you have a good idea of how easy it is to bring colour into a garden without using flowers and plants. You can use acrylic craft paint, exterior paint or spray paint, fabrics or accessories to bring life to a boring garden and really liven up the atmosphere.




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