Garden & Patio Ideas

Gardens and patios are ideal spaces within the landscape for relaxing, entertaining and planting favorite plants and flowers. To create your own design, personalize the garden and patio with decorative elements and other accessories that fit with the style of the home. Create an open, bright design that draws you outdoors.

Garden Path

Pathways are an ideal way to connect areas of the garden like an outdoor pergola or backyard patio. They can be installed within small or large gardens and with a wide range of materials, including, slate, flagstone, brick, crushed gravel and pebbles. To create a simple garden path and one that easily allows gardening equipment like wheelbarrows to access the garden, create a 2-to 3-foot-wide path. Crushed stones like gravel and granite make ideal paths because they allow the water to drain down into the rocks, instead of puddle up, and can easily be refreshed with a fresh layer of rock. Use the natural curves of the garden to lay the gravel and allow the path to weave in and out of flower beds and borders to provide a resting spot while weeding, watering and pruning the beds. Alongside the garden path, grow low-growing creeping plants like creeping thyme and sedum to bring in a burst of green to the space.

Perennial Flower Bed

Create a perennial flower bed to ensure a long-lasting and vibrant display in the garden. Perennials require a one-time planting and come up year after year fuller and taller than the year before. Some perennial flowers are drought and heat tolerant and are a hardy and versatile flower to grow in the garden. When designing the bed plant taller perennial plants like hollyhocks, iris and hibiscus in the back for height. In the middle of the bed, choose drought-tolerant flowers with bold colors and fullness like purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan and lance-leaved coreopsis. All three produce masses of summer-blooming,daily-like flowers. Along the front of the bed, low-growing flowers like salvia, evergreen candytuft and creeping verbena weave around the front of the bed to fill in hard-to-reach areas of the garden.

Patio Fountain

On a patio, install a water feature or fountain to add a soothing, trickling noise to the space. Water features include simple bird baths to attract these winged beauties to the garden or a cascading fountain. Water features are made from a wide range of materials, including metal, concrete, terra cotta and plastic. Water features are versatile and can be found in any size to fit the patio. A simple container feature doesn't take up a lot of space but provides the relaxing, cascading sound of water. Nestled alongside the patio within a perennial bed or in the middle of the patio, it provides a focal point to the space to draw you outdoors to enjoy the garden and surrounding landscape.

Keywords: garden ideas, patio ideas, garden path, perennial flower bed, water feature

About this Author

Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on and Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.