A patio is a great addition to a garden. It's an oasis right outside your front door and the more colorful your patio the more inviting it will be.

Patio materials are usually neutral (generally made of stone or decking) but there are many ways you can inject color into your patio.

Garden furniture comes in many colors these days and if your furniture is old and faded you can revive it with a fresh coat of paint. However you can also add color to neutral garden furniture with beautiful patio cushions in all colors of the rainbow. So many different types are available with jungle patterns, florals, stripes and plaid - all kinds of patterns and colors to suit every taste and type of patio.

You can often buy matching table cloths for outside dining too and a colorful parasol or umbrella to add welcome shade on hot days. Be sure to get one large enough to do the job.

If possible position your patio so that you are surrounded by plants of all different leaf shapes and colors. This will add a varied backdrop. Be sure to plant flowers in the surrounding borders which bloom during the times of the year when you will be using your patio.

One tip is to go to the garden center and choose flowering plants every few weeks during "patio season". That way you will always have something in bloom and flood of color in your garden to enjoy while you sit on your patio.

If your garden is lacking in flowers, or the part of the garden where your patio is situated is not colorful enough then you can use potted flowers and plants to add color. Place these on your patio while they are looking their best and either replace the plants or move them out of the way when they fade.

The pots themselves can also add some color to your patio if you use bright ceramics. You could also paint terracotta pots in beautiful shades to tone in with your flowers and patio cushions and furniture. Just be sure that the pots you choose are frost proof if your area is subject to severe winter weather (or store them away for the winter months).

With these ideas you can have a beautiful and colorful patio which will be the most inviting area of your garden during warm weather. Now all you need is a cool drink and a good book to enjoy the sun.