Like a lot of us this year, I needed a break from snow and cold and wanted a little sun and colour back in my life. Let me tell you, these types of trips are very dangerous looking at all of the bright tropical plants. I’ve been guilty of bringing home my share of painted ceramics that I thought would be great in the yard.
It’s a well-known fact in the retail world that we buy bright colours in the spring because after a long winter, we crave colour! Bright pinks, oranges, greens and yellows fly off the shelves at clothing stores…and at garden centres. As a designer, I have made the fatal mistake of adding these colours as permanent components of a backyard makeover.
In my defense, this homeowner wanted Caribbean…and she definitely got it.
Now you might think ‘Why Not?’ to a bright garden. Colour outdoors is a great way to bring life into a space. Bright colours tend to make us smile. They are great for families with small children. There is however, one small problem with bright colours. Come summer, when the sun is at its strongest, bright colours can be glaring. So much so, that retailers stop selling neons and start selling navies and tans: neutrals that are easier on the eye!
So how do you get your colour fix this spring without making a permanent impact in your space? Here are my simple tips for adding that perfect pop without a long-term commitment.
1. Always keep colour to the accessories when it comes to backyard furnishings. Bright plates, napkins and cups all look fantastic on wood or dark patio furniture. Consider adding a few pillows or even a single bright blanket to a lounger. These are easily swapped out in the heat of summer without costing you a lot of time or money.
2. Go impulse shopping in the plant section. I always tell homeowners that if their garden is looking drab, go and buy something in bloom. If you select a perennial, it will likely bloom at the exact same time again next year. Just make sure you read the label. (I don’t want any emails next year)
3. Change your umbrella. Box stores and garden centres are all selling umbrellas as separate items now. Adding one bright yellow umbrella is such an easy way of inserting lots of colour immediately to a space.
Feel free to bring a little pizzazz to your backyard…once the snow melts. Just do it in a way that allows you to change it up when you need to. Colour is a pretty powerful tool; use it wisely!