Landscaping Ideas for a Deck

Outside decks do not have to be areas in your landscape that are colorless, plain and boring. With the addition of containers and utilizing the existing plants in the surrounding landscape, livening up the deck area is a simple fix. Using flowering annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses and trees will transform a bland deck area into a colorful and peaceful unit of the landscape.

Container Gardening

Growing a variety of plants inside containers is the easiest method of incorporating color into your deck. Containers come in a vast array of sizes, colors and styles and are suitable for growing everything from trees, vines, flowering plants and vegetables. Container gardening allows gardeners in cooler regions of the United States to add tropical plants to their deck landscape. When cool weather strikes, bring the containers into a warm and protected area.

Flowering Plants

Use container-grown annual and perennial flowering plants spaced around the deck. Utilize annuals for instant color, changing plant species each season for year-round color. Flowering annuals are suitable for use alone in a container, mixed with several varieties or in a mixed container with perennials. Using annuals with a vine-like nature such as petunias, grown inside containers with larger specimens, will add color to the area as well as accent the larger specimen as it drools off the side. Mix complimenting flower colors together such as purples and yellows or reds and white, for a striking effect.


Evergreens grown inside containers will give year-round color to the deck area and many species are tolerant to container conditions. Using larger plants, such as flowering trees and shrubs, palms and bamboo, add height for screening and help the deck blend into the surrounding landscape. Container-grown plants usually do not grow as large as when planted into the ground. Use a container that is approximately two to three times bigger than the plant's root section. This allows enough space for the plant to grow properly and not require frequent transplanting. Use several plants lined together for added privacy or at an entranceway to the deck for an added accent.

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses grown inside containers add a green effect to the landscape on and around the deck area. Many grasses have a flowering stage, so gardeners get the benefit of an evergreen plant and flowers throughout the year. Stage the container-grown grasses along the sides of the deck or on the stairways allowing the deck to blend in with the surrounding landscape giving the area a natural feel. Utilize an ornamental grass well suited for growing throughout your particular region of the Untied States. Many ornamental grasses are hardy, problem and pest-free and are relatively drought tolerant. Ornamental grasses come in a vast variety of sizes and looks, with some species growing barely 1-foot tall and other growing up to 3 feet in height.

Keywords: landscaping a deck, deck container gardens, planting a deck

About this Author

Joyce Starr is a freelance writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawncare, gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.