A swift lick of paint for the garden

Gardeners can get the most out of the colours in their garden by using a paintbrush, it has been suggested.

Given the right choice of colour, gardeners can give a "different mood and feel" to the garden by painting walls and fences.

That is the opinion of gardening expert Joe Swift, who wrote in the Times that painting can be a cost-effective way of upgrading the garden.

"Painted backdrops such as walls will intensify the hues of the plants in front, especially mid and dark greens, but of course will also set off flower colours too, opening up a wider range of combinations, whether subtle or madly zingy," he wrote.

"Flat planes of colour can look wonderful when cast in shadow by strong sunlight."

Gardeners should stay away from primary colours as the light in the UK is not strong enough and could result in a garden that looks "like a school playground".

Joe Swift is a regular on Gardeners World and co-presents the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show.