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11 Ways to Turn Your Patio Into a Garden

Updated on January 12, 2019
viryabo profile image

Working as a professional interior designer for many decades, I've been involved in design-and-build residential building projects.

A garden patio - Landscape design idea that brings the outdoors indoor.
A garden patio - Landscape design idea that brings the outdoors indoor. | Source

Creating a patio garden to complement your outdoor landscape design is a home enhancement idea you will never regret implementing. Most of us love gardens and the feel of nature around us, but many people don’t have that much of a garden and if you live above a ground floor, you don’t have a garden at all.

Patios types vary. While there are open patios that adjoin the house on one wall with sliding or swing doors that probably leads directly indoors, there are some that are sited in open yards that have nothing more than a patio covering and a paved floor.

Then there are the semi-enclosed types with two or three walls, with one of the walls adjoining the house and the other(s) enclosed with patio enclosure materials that range from canvas to lattice wood partitions. And then, there are enclosed patios like courtyards and secluded patios that have been specifically designed to be private, while balcony patios are found from the first floor up in high-rise apartments.

Your patio is a part of your landscape and should be set up in a way that it serves as a comfortable and relaxing recreational area where you can get away from the indoor chatter, entertainment friends, and dine. To create this kind of area in your home only requires you turning your patio into a garden which will make the space cosy, next-to-nature, and aesthetically pleasing.

A patio should set a perfect stage as an outdoor leisure room enhanced with potted foliage, flowers, outdoor furniture and furnishings, and appropriate lighting. Because this space forms a part of your landscape, large or small, it is best designed to complement the entire landscape.

How your yard patio can be a part of, and blend with your landscape
How your yard patio can be a part of, and blend with your landscape | Source

Ways to Make a Garden Out of Your Patio

There are numerous ways to add interest to patios to complement any landscape. If you turn your patio into a garden, your patio garden is still versatile, and depending on its size, you can use it any way you wish.

If you live in a small house built on built on a small lot with hardly any space for gardening, have an adjoining outdoor room and turn it into a garden, and if you do have garden space but it is barely three-square metres, turn your patio into an extension of your tiny garden space.

If you are convinced that your outdoor room does need revamping, upgrading, or renovating, turn it into a patio garden. Below, you will find design ideas as regards this. One or more of them will help you find inspiration or stir up your creative juices.

  1. Your patio garden needs a floor finish. The choice depends on the look you want. You can use faux grass to create a feel of a small green lawn or you can pave it with any patio flooring materials like stone, bricks, or oven bamboo wood flooring if your patio has a roof covering. Wood flooring is not ideal for yard patios.
  2. You may want to semi-enclose your outdoor leisure room. Add a patio privacy screen made from natural materials that complement the outdoors, like bamboo, wood lattice, woven mats, wood slats, wrought-iron frame trellis, or an imposing hedge wall about eight feet tall. The hedge can be natural or faux outdoor plants. These make great backdrops for a patio garden.
  3. Create rectangular planting pockets around the patio’s perimeter to serve as a boundary. You can also have an island planter and plant a tree or flowering plants. the boundary plant can be tall growing plants while the island one has low to medium height flowering plants. Plants can be planted on the floor level, or elevated with rectangular, square, or circular pots made from wood slats.
  4. Create a focal point with a tall wood or iron trellis with creeping plants or flowering vines. This will serve as a patio wall, especially in open-yard patios. Create bench seating in the perimeter and use it for seating or for lots of plant display. Make the benches varying heights to add some drama to the setup.
  5. Alternatively, you can arrange round plant troughs made with concrete and create a perimeter. You can make them the same or varying heights and use them strictly for flowering plants like bright and colourful annual plants like your favourite roses. If the patio is adjoined to the building, this can be arranged on the two sides of the wall.
  6. Create a herb garden if you grow your own herbs. Build a rack or shelves to place them on. Use terracotta pots or any form of containers of your choice but ensure they add colour to your patio garden. If you are not into growing your own food, plant dwarf cacti, or other colourful succulent plants.
  7. For small patios that don't have enough floor space to arrange planter boxes, create ceiling beams where you can hang planters of various sizes at varying levels. Keep the lower ones away from your walk path so that they don’t hit your head while walking through. Hang the higher ones above headroom height.
  8. Add a floor water feature with built-in lights. Fibre-glass models that look like stone and rock fountains fit in well with the landscape and will, therefore, work well in the patio. You can also you a prominent table top version if you so desire. It will still give you that garden effect, especially with planter surrounds.
  9. For larger patios, go dramatic. Give the space some character with dug-out squares, triangles or circle pockets dug out from the paved floor. They can be arranged in symmetrical or asymmetrical patterns. Plants like the African iris, gazanias or snapdragons can be planted in each pocket and they will grow their roots directly into the soil.
  10. Light up your patio garden creatively. Choose lights that illuminate the space, especially if you do outdoor entertaining often. Commercial grade draped string lights are great for the outdoors, and so are battery-operated dancing flame torches, pendant lights, wall sconces, and downlights. Add a few mood lights like lanterns and battery-operated candle lights as well but remember that a little light goes a long way at night. Complement the landscape rather than detract from it.
  11. Accentuate the patio with a shade-producing tree planted in a huge wooden tub or half-barrel. It can also serve as a screen against the wind in winter and excessive sun exposure in the summer and add a lush look to the patio. For any untidy structural elements, dead ends, or drab corners around the patio, create a cluster of potted plants to conceal them.

Don’t forget to add some lemongrass or any other insect-repelling to the plants in your patio. Grow them in a couple of decorative pots to repel mosquitoes in the summer.

Because most patios are built at ground level or around 15cm to 30cm (6” to 12”) above the ground, they rarely require safety railings.

To conform beautifully with the entire landscape, floor the patio with natural stone, pavers, ceramic tiles, red or brown bricks, smooth pebbles, rock or pea gravel. These flooring materials serve as a base of sorts for a garden décor and will easily blend and flow into surrounding outdoor space.

A small patio turned into a garden.
A small patio turned into a garden.

What to Avoid

  • Avoid growing plants that grow uncontrollably so it is good to be selective about the plants you choose. You don’t want a patio that will eventually end up looking wild, untidy, unkept, and cluttered.
  • Avoid over-planting. You don’t want your patio to appear unplanned and end up resembling a forest of plants. If that is the look you like that's fine, but if you prefer a manicured, well thought out garden, you may end up finding over-planting unappealing.
  • Avoid using plant colours and foliage that are not in harmony with each other and the landscape surrounds.
  • Avoid growing plants that are not adaptable to your local climate because they may die off in no time unless you tend them carefully consistently. Local adaptable plants will guarantee that your patio looks healthy all year through.

© 2011 viryabo

Your Views Are Welcome

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    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR

      viryabo 

      7 years ago

      Hi Denise, Thank you for your beautiful comments all the time, and for your visits.

      GodBless

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Bookmarked it for an additional read. Your hubs are of such wonderful quality. :)

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