How to Start a Patio Garden


Lush flower gardens needn't be reserved for homeowners with impressive yards. A collection of colorful flowers and refreshing plants can be enjoyed in even the smallest of spaces. With a collection of containers, you can turn your patio space into a lush garden. Patio gardens are a popular way to dress up the outside of the home and create a lovely sitting area in which to rest and relax. This type of container garden requires some special considerations, but is a very achievable weekend project for any gardener.

Step 1

Create a scale drawing of your patio area using graph paper and a pencil. Evaluate the available area. Find space on multiple levels. While large potted plants will need to sit on the patio floor, flower boxes can hang from window sills or low patio walls. Suspend hanging baskets from overhangs, walls or special stands made for just this purpose. A trellis set alongside the patio can support vines and other climbing plants.

Step 2

Indicate on your drawing where you want to include each element. Leave plenty of space for patio furniture, and provide walking room to keep the patio from feeling too crowded.

Step 3

Designate one or two of the elements on your patio garden as focal points. These will be the biggest, brightest and most impressive flower displays. You focal point may be a small fruit tree, large potted plant or even a miniature water garden or fountain.

Step 4

Select the containers for your garden, keeping in mind the types of flowers and plants that you want to put in each one. Heavy ceramic pots are best for plants that will be placed on the floor of the patio, to keep them from easily kicking over. Also consider the permanence of each piece. If you are installing permanent planters, look into stone or cement varieties. Plastic and wood are best for planters that may be moved at the end of the season. Compare the measurements of the containers with the available space on your patio drawing to make sure there's room for everything.

Step 5

Arrange the containers on your patio and determine where each will go. Once your containers are arranged in a style that suits you, note the available sunlight in each area of the patio. Some corners of the patio may get full sun while others, up against the house or under an awning, are in full shade. This information will be important when you select your plants. Mark the placement of each container along with its size and the available sunlight on your patio drawing.

Step 6

Secure all containers so that they won't fall or tip over. Use adjustable brackets to secure flower boxes to the patio railing. Corner brackets will keep flower boxes in place on window sills. Sturdy wall or ceiling brackets should be used to support hanging baskets.

Step 7

Select the flowers for your patio garden. Refer to your patio drawing as you shop to make sure that you have appropriate space and conditions for each plant that you select. Large pots, planters and hanging baskets often feature two or more types of flowers. When planting flowers together, make sure that they have the same watering needs.

Step 8

Plant your chosen flowers in the containers already installed on your patio. Take note of their fertilizer and watering requirements and provide each area of the garden with appropriate care.

Tips and Warnings

  • In the event of severe storms, you may need to move some of your containers up against the house and cover or anchor them to keep lightweight pots from being blown over or broken.

Things You'll Need

  • Graph paper
  • Pencil
  • Containers
  • Brackets


  • Container Plants for Beginners; Joachim Mayer; 2002
  • Easy Hanging Baskets & Window Boxes; Richard Jackson & Carolyn Hutchinson
Keywords: container garden, patio garden, patio design

About this Author

Mandi Rogier is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about a wide range of topics. She works regularly on web content, writing for Demand Studios as well as Associated Content. She previously worked at Walt Disney World and enjoys writing travel content that makes use of her extensive knowledge of Orlando theme parks.