I had the great opportunity to work with the very talented designer Caitlin McCarthy of Caitlin & Caitlin on a patio garden in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Silver Lake is a very hilly neighborhood, so many of the homes are terraced into the hillsides. If you spend any time outdoors, your daily exercise is built in simply by hiking up and down stairs. This job entailed designing and installing container gardens on upper and lower patios as well as planting a privacy hedge and refreshing the plants in the front yard. Working on this project got me thinking about how important color is when creating a garden lifestyle for my clients. In addition to the plants chosen, outdoor furniture, area rugs, planters, and accessories all provide opportunity to add color into an outdoor living space.
The house and patios are painted a lovely shade of dark grey. Grey is one of my favorite neutrals with which to work. On the upper dining patio, Caitlin had placed a strong, concrete colored table over a sky blue area rug. The chairs are forest green with white cushions. For the planters, I chose contemporary white self watering planters from Lechuza. I’ve used these planters several times because they are attractive, well made, and have the self watering feature, which is great if you’re no so good at remembering to water on a regular basis. I planted them with pigmy date palms and succulents. On the table, I placed a sky blue glazed ceramic center piece planter filled with succulents.
The lower patio is done in grey, orange red, white, and a bit of cobalt blue. The focal point is the wall garden above the bar where I installed hanging wall planters by Gro Vert, which I custom painted. I also added glazed ceramic planters in orange/red and cobalt. Succulents add contemporary structure that I really like.
Think about color when planting a garden, not only the color palette of the plants and flowers, but also how accessories, furniture, and containers work with the color of your house. How do you want to feel when in your outdoor living space? What do you want to do there? A patio or balcony can extend the square footage of your living space in order to make it easier to entertain, to work, to exercise, or to dream.
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