Reflecting your likes and interests in the garden is a great way to stamp your personality on outdoor living spaces. And how better to do that than by employing a carefully-considered colour scheme combined with some clever planting.
Take Cuprinol’s latest makeover: a lovely set of quality furniture on which time and the elements had taken their toll, whichTeam Cuprinol– garden designer Matt Keightley and colour expert Louise Tod – transformed into an impressive focal point.
“The family at this property are the proud owners of a beach hut, where they have whiled away many happy weekends together,” says Tod. “We decided to bring some of that seaside theme home for them, so I picked a palette consisting of three tones of blue and combined it with neutral accessories.”
The first thing Keightley did was shift the furniture – a table, benches, chairs and a lounger – slightly. “I moved the table so that it was no longer right outside the door and you didn’t walk into it,” he says. “Something as simple as that can immediately make a terrace feel bigger and less of an obstacle course.
While Tod focused on giving the furniture a nautical spruce-up, Keightley made the “soft landscape”, the garden itself, more in tune with the terraced area.
“I selected grasses that created an effect reminiscent of sand dunes for that swaying movement that you associate with the wind and the sea,” he says.
“I also planted deep drifts of purple lavender that again tip a hat to the ocean and the way it moves.”
By using Agapanthus (African lily), a summer-flowering perennial with showy flowers in shades of blue and purple, Keightley provided a dramatic hit within the grasses. “They gave a brilliant splash of colour that worked extremely well with Louise’s palette,” he says.
Tod was impressed by the quality of the furniture. “They’d clearly seen it as an investment, and I could see it still had many years of life left in it,” she says. “It had become weathered and was covered in lichen so I jet-washed everything. I could have sanded it back, but that would have taken the texture off the wood and I preferred a more rustic look.”
Tod worked with three Garden Shades blues to create a tonal palette: the bold Barleywood, the more turquoise Beach Blue and the very pale Coastal Mist.
“There are so many pieces of furniture in this set, but by painting them in shades of blue it brought them all together. Combined with Matt’s planting, it achieved a bold look, transforming the garden while being fun.”
Keightley’s final touch was to frame the doors leading out on to the terrace with evergreen jasmine. “This was another subtle play on the senses to evoke that sense of being down by the sea,” he says. “Every time someone opens those doors, the house will flood with the scent of jasmine, which will encourage them to follow the scent out into the garden and down to the fragrant drift of lavender.”