Your patio space provides a beautiful oasis opportunity where you can relax all summer long. It's a private sanctuary that you can design, full of beautiful blooms and fantastic foliage, not to mention a comfy lounge chair or two!
Even if your patio is a small space, there's always room for container gardens, especially since they are so easy to care for. Take a look at our tips and ideas below to create your perfect personalized patio.
Making Shade Your Friend
Covered patios can be a bit of a conundrum when it comes to plants, as they often have a lot of shade. Don't worry, there are plenty of beautiful outdoor plants that love shade. Always double check by looking at the plant's info tag before potting them.
Full shade plants enjoy morning and evening sun, but like to stay out of the hot rays in the middle of the day. Part shade plants could have sun in the morning or in the afternoon, but not both, and prefer 4-6 hours max. Full sun plants need at least 6 hours of sun during the middle of the day.
Take notice of what areas of your patio get direct sunlight at different times of the day, then move your plants around accordingly. That's the advantage to container gardens, they can always be relocated (especially if you add wheeled trays underneath each pot).
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Miniature Japanese Maple Trees
- Bleeding Hearts
H2O on the Pati-O
If you have a patio with part sun to full shade areas, then you may not have to water as often as you think. Protected areas, like your patio, will help planters keep their soil damp and cool during the hot summer months.
Always check the top inch of soil before you water, to see if it is dry. You can also try lifting your pots up, as you can often tell by the weight of your planters whether they need watering.
When you water your container gardens, bury the tip of the watering can deep in the plants so that the water flows directly on the soil and not on the leaves of your plants. This helps avoid mildew or water spots.
Give Yourself Some Privacy
No one wants to put on a show for the neighbourhood whenever they head to the patio. It's easy to create a bit of privacy using hedges or tall plants, which also add lovely greenery!
Try using tall shrubs such as laurel, cypress, boxwood or cedar. If you're looking for a blooming option, try a large hydrangea (in a nice sized pot) to block out passing pedestrians. You can also use trellises, which easily attach to balcony railings, and grow trailing plants such as clematis or camellia.
You can read more ideas on creating privacy with hedges, plants and trellises in our blog post over here.
Beautiful Yet Tasteful
Brighten up the patio with herbs or vegetables in pot, which are a feast for your eyes and your mouth! Pots full of thyme, rosemary or lavender will look amazing, taste great, and keep the air smelling fresh.
A small herb garden on the patio is an accessible way to add fresh herbs to your dining experience all summer long. We've written a herb-alicious blog post over here that gives you all the tips and info you need to start your own herb garden!
You can also pop a few vegetable plants into those patio container gardens to liven up your salads and to snack on while your suntanning. If your patio gets a lot of sun, you can plant tomatoes (we love the cherry tomatoes for a quick snack) or maybe add in a strawberry plant for a sweet treat.
You can also use lettuce and kale varieties into your container gardens in full sun, or part sun, locations. We've got a lot more ideas on adding vegetables to your container gardens in this blog post.
Spring has hit and annuals are in full force in the garden centre! There are so many to choose from, how can you possibly pick? Find inspiration for your container gardens with these free planter templates which you can download and use as guides for your own pots! (Of course you can substitute in your own favourites, rather than follow the templates exactly.)
We've also been creating inspirational container garden videos for you to watch! Gorgeous blooms and foliage really get our creativity flowing and we hope it will for you as well, over on our West Coast Gardens youtube channel.
Keeping It Clean + Tidy
Once your patio is teeming with beautiful container gardens and planters, you might find it gets a bit more dirty than normal. That's ok! If you've lived with roommates or teenagers, you know that more tenants equal more mess.
Luckily your patio plants won't leave socks on the floor or crumbs on the counter. They may, however, drop a leaves and spent blooms, or even have a dusting of soil around their planters. Just keep a broom handy to sweep up your patio now and then.
Pots may also leak when watered, and terra cotta pots can weep and leave water circles on your patio. A good idea is to use plant stands to lift your pots off the ground, or use sturdy watertight trays underneath.
Kick Back and Relax
Don't forget to save a sunny spot for yourself! Comfy patio furniture, and a table to put your refreshing drinks on, make a perfect spot to relax during the summer months. You can mix up delicious cocktails with our favourite recipes right here, which go fantastic with some summer snacks.
Speaking of snacks, don't forget to feed your container gardens throughout the summer. Use a water soluble fertilizer, as it's easy for your plants to absorb. You can also use a slow release fertilizer formula (granular) when you go away on holidays. This will ensure your flowers bloom all summer long!
Creating your own patio oasis will give you a special place to relax, a sanctuary where you can enjoy nature and be inspired.