Introduce a surprise element into your garden with a collection of colourful painted terracotta.
Terracotta, an attractive natural material, enhances most garden schemes. Pots featuring garlands or other designs are available, but you can be adventurous and paint your own. For an eye-catching result, treat a group of pots to an all-over wash of colour, or for a dappled effect dab on colour with a stippling brush or sponge. Keep any patterns simple; easily applied plain bands of colour or an uncomplicated stencilled motif are very effective. Most mistakes can be painted over, and a slightly rough finish suits the simplicity of plain terracotta anyway.
Use frostproof exterior paint, such as masonry paint, if the pots are to remain outdoors all year round, or special paint is available for terracotta. If you don’t mind weathering, apply chalk or even water-based poster colours, then fix with a couple of coats of polyurethane varnish.