Many apartment and condominium dwellers only have small patios or balconies that they consider their "backyards." But a patio often becomes an afterthought because it seems to serve very little purpose, especially when it comes to gardening. Fortunately, there are ways to utilize a patio without adding square footage. Adding a flower pot garden can make a patio come alive by turning it into a place for entertaining and relaxation.
Using multiple pots in various sizes, styles and colors can make your garden multidimensional. Use the biggest pots for flowering shrubs and trees, while smaller to medium pots can hold ornamental grasses and other plants that don't grow too big. Pot colors should complement each other and the paint used for the exterior wall. Pots with decorations can add texture and visual interest.
Ornamental, leafy plants can provide a backdrop for the flowering plants. The leaves can also act as canopy to prevent the flowers from overexposure to the sun. Taller plants can act as privacy screens, enabling you to enjoy your patio any time of the day.
Wide-mouthed pots can become planting beds to hold various types of flowers. Mixing low-growing flowers (lamium, for example), trailing ivy and tall perennials (e.g., delphinium) will create a flower arrangement with different blooms and heights.
Plant stands can add height to small potted plants. Add volume to the arrangement by placing several small potted flowers of the same kind in one plant stand. Using a multilevel plant stand can give an illusion of a layered or terraced garden. Planting a different color of flowers on each level will make the flower arrangement appear like a rainbow.
A wired, spiral plant stand will hold pots that will be visible from all sides. Adding trailing flowers that thicken over time will cover the wires.
Hanging Flower Pots
Adding potted flowers in hanging baskets can complete the look with splashes of colors on the upper areas of the patio. Begonias, impatiens and wishbone flower (torenia) do well in hanging baskets. Trailing ivies will act as fillers when the blooming period is over. Planting ornamental grass at the center of the flower arrangement will add height and texture. A hanging basket in each corner with similar flower arrangements can help anchor the design.
A trellis or lattice installed on the wall of the patio can be a place where you can arrange your flower pots. Placing at least a dozen potted multicolored flowers on the lattice by using wires will make the flower arrangement appear like living art, similar to a painting.