Flowers are pretty thin around here right now. I’m gagging for a bit of colour. A couple of years back I wrote about adding inorganic colour to your garden, but for some reason (can’t think why) I never included paint.
Paint must be one of the cheapest, easiest and most powerful ways of adding colour to the garden, or to back up or at least reference a nearby colour scheme, if that’s your thing.
I’d like to think that here at Floriade (The Netherlands 2012), the tulips were chosen first and someone knew the colour so well (people keep records of such things. Wish I could manage that) that they painted the bench to match. Of course it may have been the other way around and the bench colour was chosen first, but in the absence of any way of proving either, I’m choosing the flower-led explanation. What’s certain is that the power of both the bench and the tulips was magnified, way beyond what you’d imagine
The greatest example of the power of paint must surely be Le Jardin Marjorelle in Marrakech (to which I’ve never been, and of which I therefore have no original images but you can see what I mean here), but within my own experience, the Mecca for painted furniture would be Chanticleer in the US, which has countless adirondack chairs arranged in convivial clusters throughout the garden and painted in colours that more often than not bounce out of, or sing along with, the surrounding planting.
In some cases it isn’t so much a colour match, as simply dark chairs and dark foliage in mutual validation
Of course, there’s easier and cheaper ways still of throwing some colour around.