Bring a small garden to life on a patio, using your gardening skills creatively. A small garden patio becomes an extension of your indoor living space. Design your patio garden with the purpose of the space in mind. Plan your patio design with interesting elements that complement both your indoor and outdoor décor.
Illusion of Space
Curves can create the illusion of more space. Create curves by using rounded planting containers on the patio, and by placing containers in curved arrangements rather than straight along a wall or in a line. Cascading plants make curved lines, whether they are draped over the edge of a container or growing from a hanging planter.
Plants with Purpose
For your patio container garden, choose plants that will serve your purpose. If you want to grow vegetables, select dwarf varieties or naturally small plants that will not overwhelm your patio space when they are mature. Bush varieties of squash are a good for container growing; lettuce varieties come in a wide array of beautiful colors and textures that are decorative as well as edible. Determinate types of tomatoes are good choices for patio gardens, because they grow to a certain size and then use their energy to produce tomatoes rather than more vines. Choose flowers according to mature plant size.
Living Wall with a Trellis
Use vining plants to create a living wall. Use a living wall to create privacy, or to soften the look of a stark wall. Use a trellis or other support for vines. A free-standing trellis used in conjunction with ground-level containers of vines can be moved to shade your patio from the hot summer sun, or to allow sunshine to warm the patio in cooler weather.
Living Wall with Hanging Plants
A series of hanging plants will also make a living wall. By placing them at different heights across an open space, they will fill the area as they grow. Hanging plants leave a more open feeling while still offering privacy. They are easy to move, if necessary.
Water features will help you personalize your patio. Trickling water from a small fountain creates a peaceful atmosphere. Find a ready-made small fountain, or buy a fountain pump kit to create your own trickle fountain from jugs, pots or other materials that follow your decorating scheme.
A small patio garden can become an oasis for birds. Small bird feeders will attract your feathered friends. They will stay near your patio garden if you incorporate a birdbath as a source of water and provide them with nesting hideaways.
Solar lights are convenient for patio and outdoor use. They do not require electrical wiring, and the energy to power them is free. If your patio does not receive full sun, charge up small stick-type solar lights in a sunny area, and then place them in patio plant containers to provide ambient lighting in the evenings. Some solar lights have remote solar panel chargers which are connected to the lights by small cords. Try using these around the perimeter of your patio, placing the chargers where they will receive sunlight and covering the cord with mulch or running it under spreading plants to hide it from view. Look for solar-powered lights for overhead use, with remote charging panels you can mount on a sunny wall or rooftop.