A Radical Plan

Feelings of desolation following the recent disastrous garden makeover lasted only a matter of hours before determination kicked back in. The purple would go and I would muster up the energy to make it so ….come hell or high water. The problem remaining was… what to repaint it with?

And so I turned, as many do, to the web. But this time I didn’t just absorb information. I asked for it. And the wondrous web answered. Well. My current favourite bit of it did…Abigail Ahern.
“I’ve painted our garden walls and I hate them” went my comment on her blog. “I know you advocate for dark walls….but….how dark is dark?”

The answer?


“You have to go dark, seriously trust me on this. If you are super scared paint a small bit out, stand back and look at how magical it will make your garden. I’ve painted the front of our house out in Railings by Farrow and Ball, its a very soft black. Don’t panic at the word black its beyond beautiful. Oh and yes everything fence, posts the whole shebang, I can’t tell you how much more sophisticated it will look PROMISE! Plus you shouldn’t tone in it never works as it never matches – so no mid tones just way to blah, take the leap go Railings and watch what happens!” Abigail Ahern

I gulped.

Turning to the web again I searched for images which might put my fears….and believe me I had some….at bay.

With excitement replacing fear, I emailed the picture to S.
“Can I do this?” I asked.
“Buy some cheap paint and lining paper and do your classic ‘imagineering'” he answered.
To B&Q I went.
Alas the Dulux machine was broken so it was lining paper only I returned home with but a trip to F&B for the authentic hue followed the very next day.

“I’m thinking of painting out the walls and fence” I explained with nervous excitement to the shop assistant as I made my purchase of two small tester pots of Railings as per the instruction. “I’m not sure my husband will go for it but he hasn’t said no so I’m encouraged….”
Turning from the till she looked me straight in the eye.
“Whenever I want to make changes I’m not sure my husband will like” she responded conspiratorially “I do it when he’s out. I just do it. 9 times out of 10 he likes it. The other one time he doesn’t even notice…..”

I nodded. It wasn’t a technique I was unfamiliar with. Yet….I’m not convinced of its viability in this instance. Whilst I’m well aware that a man rarely sees what’s right in front of him ….including missing socks (on the island), bag (on the bench) and drill (where you left it last which in this particular case and after a thirty minute search conducted by the whole household including our three year old son turned out to be on a window ledge) …..I’m fairly sure S will notice if the garden is painted black.

Meanwhile the internet, appearing to be aware of my precarious teetering on the knife-edge of the Dark Side, only served to push.
Colour Crush Black came AA’s next post with ‘Amp up the Front of you House’ having already served to inspire.
Boho Chic Backyard Patio encouraged Gardenista.
Weekend and Dark Drama spurred Desire to Inspire. And Shed: Paint it Black urged The Hunted Interior.

Despite the encouragement, rain has prevented the lining paper test from taking place but I’m becoming more and more convinced as each wet day goes by. Which is unfortunate as of course S is not participating in this self-immersed ‘talking myself into it’ exercise.
“I see you have painted a corner of my shed” he commented this week referring to the Cuprinol Murky Clay test I had applied.
“Do you like it?” I asked.
“I thought you were painting the shed black?” he asked.
“Maybe not the shed….that might be too much. I was thinking of the fence and the….”
“You are NOT painting the fence black. That’s ludicrous. Absolutely not.”
‘Oh ….ok…..I thought we were going to see?”
“The walls …maybe. Not the fence.”

Perhaps his is a voice of sensible reason. Mini-breaking this weekend I’ve been snapping pictures of planting schemes I think might work and have noticed how the golden wood of a fence might look effective when covered in climbing planting and framed by Railing-ed posts.

So whilst I realise you may all be shaking your heads sagely convinced I’m headed headlong (and head-strong) towards Decorating Disaster #2, its no use.
I’ve got fire in my belly.
Even the prospect of another repetitious day circuiting our urban green patch with paintbrush in hand isn’t doing much to rain on my all-black parade. Exchanging interior progress texts with a friend I came clean with my intention.
“I’ve just bought testers….thinking of going black in the garden…..”
“Black?” she responded. “What could possibly go wrong?”

Watch this space….



2 thoughts on “A Radical Plan

  1. Do it!!! We haven’t got a fence in our garden yet, but when we do, I’ll be out there with my paint brush and a tin of black paint. Looking forward to seeing what you do : )

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