A floral display or garden can make the difference between a plain, old patio and an outstanding outdoor retreat. Whether you are using your porch or patio as a place to entertain guests, an outdoor refuge for peace and quiet or both, the floral decor you chose will give your patio atmosphere and character.
For a summer party, nothing will set the mood like tropical flowers and decorations. Hibiscus, birds of paradise and other bright, showy exotic flowers will create colorful accents for your equatorial fete. If you live in a more temperate climate, you can still grow flowering vines like jasmine, morning glory and passion flower to help set the scene. Add tiki torches, bamboo arches, flower garlands and other decorative touches to make your tropical paradise complete.
With a little bit of floral arranging and a few other props, your patio garden can easily be transformed into a romantic retreat for just you and your sweetie. Set a table with a simple display irises, lilacs and other romantic flowers. If the night isn't too windy, place floating candles in water with rose petals for a spectacular alternative to the traditional tapers. Scatter bundles of lavender, rosemary and other aromatic herbs around to add a fragrance which will enhance both the flavor of a meal and the mood of the evening.
To give your patio garden a unique and unconventional feel, try a water garden. Nearly any tub you find attractive, from whiskey barrels to terra cotta planters, can hold water plants provided there is enough sunlight. Floating plants like water lilies and water hyacinth can form a base layer, submerged plants such as anacharis and water milfoil will oxygenate the water and cattails and other edge plants will create a bright, decorative display as they rise above the surface.