Hello Penelope! Dwarf non-fruiting olives, boxwood, euonymus, juniper, and other evergreens are great for container plantings as patio trees and topiaries. Wasps are not attracted to red, especially the warmer orange reds, so you could even try a dwarf pomegranate. In the shadier areas, ferns, camellia or azalea (double petaled varieties) and Japanese maple could all work. Avoid water features and open, single petaled flowers w/ pollen like daisies, and steer clear of colors in white, blue, and yellow. All the best, Cat:)
Fallen in love with the Coral Bark Maple - I began looking up all the varieties of each of your plant suggestions. Thank you very much. You have truly inspired my patio garden Catherine. And I will enjoy feeling safer in it. What a lot of choice.
I'm so glad to have given you inspiration! The coral bark Japanese maple is gorgeous through all of the seasons- even winter, when it is bare. Have fun with the design process. I hope you'll share an "after" picture:)