These days many flowerpots boast vivid ceramics and over winter, when the garden is bare, the pots themselves add vibrancy to a dull garden. My neighbour has mustard-coloured pots (which is a shade I loathe) but they perfectly suit his choice of plants. My own garden features deep blue or dark red pots, which suit my colour palette of red, yellow, blue and white.
Hanging baskets are another spring treasure. The bare limbs of a still-dormant tree are adorned with baskets of impatiens and early begonias, enjoying a filtered sun while protected by the sparse canopy. I colour coordinate my garden so that by the time spring has warmed up, the deep red of the impatiens will be repeated by the bonfire salvia, celosia, the mandevillas, and hinted at in the throats of the bromeliads. The deep blue salvia is echoed by the lobelia, and marigolds liven everything up.
Small gardens should be colour-controlled. At my first house, I made every mistake possible, so I consider myself a world authority on what not to do. Let loose with a credit card and a bland surround, I bought every plant I liked the look of in as many colours as I could find. The result was as messy as a three-year-old’s finger painting. Now I view the garden as another room to decorate and arrange, because it is here that we entertain our guests and relax. A limited range of blended colours brings harmony and invites your eyes to enjoy the patterns among the diversity.