With potted plants and bright outdoor accessories, a small terrace courtyard has been transformed into a little piece of tropical paradise.
If there's one thing stylist Paul Hopper knows, it's gardens and how to decorate them. With a background in horticulture, he's got the plants down pat, and as the owner of outdoor living store Terrace, he's style savvy to boot. His own little plot of land, which he shares with his partner Jamie and spaniel Bertie, is a compact terrace garden in Sydney's Paddington. "I've noticed a lot of people don't really bother with their backyards when they are small," Paul says. "I have a good nosey from my upstairs window at what everyone else does with their space!"
When it came to overhauling his own "soulless" garden, Paul simply chose what he loved. "It was great to be able to grow big specimens of the tropical plants I have always wanted," he says. Paul tailored the plant selection according to where they would be positioned in the garden, one side of which was sunny and the other more shaded.
Plus, many of the plants are in pots as Paul and Jamie are renting. "I wanted to be able to take everything with me if we move," Paul says. When it came time to decorate the garden, Paul sourced most of the brightly coloured furnishings from his store and mixed them in with kerbside finds, such as the daybed, and leftover props from photo shoots he's styled, like the pressed-tin wall panelling. "Garden furniture and accessories are extremely important!" Paul says. "They are what turn a boring wasted space into a welcoming outdoor room."
In this garden, wasted space is not an option. "I would have liked a raised planting bed, but I'm planning a vertical planted vegetable wall instead," Paul says. "There's something very rewarding about squeezing a lemon or using herbs that you've grown."
How to accessorise your garden – green fingers not necessary!
Outdoor fabrics will make a huge impact on your outdoor space. Think seat and floor cushions, shade canopies and even rugs.
Choose a palette to suit your garden plants and theme. For eg, go bright for tropical, pastel for country and neutral for cacti.
Create decorative groupings just like you would inside the home. Arrange a few pots, hang some lanterns, pile up outdoor cushions.