Creating a patio garden allows you to unlock the full potential of your outdoor living space and provides a beautiful and functional addition to any home, no matter how much space you have.
Patio gardens provide a space to relax and enjoy the outdoors and can be used to grow flowers, vegetables, or herbs. If you’re thinking about adding a patio garden to your home, here are some tips to help you get started.
How to design a patio garden that fits your needs and budget
Creating a patio garden might seem overwhelming, especially if you’re starting from scratch. With some planning and intentionality, you can avoid common pitfalls when developing an outdoor space, like overspending and not accounting for the amount of sunlight your plants need to thrive.
1. Decide on a purpose for your patio garden before beginning
Are you looking to create a private sanctuary? Do you want to grow food in your patio garden? Is the garden purely for aesthetic purposes? Does there need to be a place to prepare or cook food? How much seating is adequate for your family?
Ask yourself questions about what you’re looking for in a patio garden and determine the purpose of the space. This will help you decide what to include and how to design the garden to fit your needs.
2. Take measurements
Take accurate measurements of your patio space before you start ordering or building anything. This way, you’ll know exactly how much room you have to work with and can plan accordingly. The last thing you want is for your patio furniture, firepit, or plant containers to arrive and not fit into your space.
3. Determine your budget
Before making purchases for your new outdoor space, work out a concrete budget for this project. No matter what your budget looks like, it’s helpful to have this laid out before you head to a single website or store. When you determine a budget and commit to sticking to it, you’re more likely to design an intentional space and stay away from impulse spending.
If needed, repurposing well-loved furniture and other materials you may already have on hand is a great way to lower the cost of a patio garden. Secondhand stores, online marketplaces, and yard sales are ideal for picking up inexpensive building materials and decor to create a truly unique patio garden.
4. Work with your space
Larger patio areas can accommodate big containers and pots for plants and small trees and bushes. Smaller patio areas can still house a surprising number of plants; you’ll just have to get more creative! Vertical gardening is an efficient way to fit more green into a small space – I highly recommend that you look into vertical gardening tips to make the most out of a small patio garden.
Vining plants and plants that respond well to trellising are perfect for small areas. Think pole beans, morning glories, black-eyed Susans, clematis, wisteria, star jasmine, trailing nasturtiums, and cucumbers.
5. Thoughtfully select the plants for your patio garden
There can’t be many things more frustrating than designing and developing a beautiful patio garden only to have some of those plants wither away.
To avoid wasting money and effort on plants that won’t survive in your space, take your time when selecting the plants for your patio garden. Avoid heading to the plant nursery and grabbing anything that looks good – that can be a one-way ticket to disappointment.
- Start by making a list of the plants that match the purpose you determined for your garden earlier (growing food, providing privacy, feeding the local bees, etc.)
- Next, take note of how much sunlight each area of your patio receives and sketch a sun exposure layout.
- Do some research on your list of plants to figure out how much sun each plant will need access to.
- Finally, match the plants on your list to the areas on your patio where they will be most likely to succeed.
You can shift your plant containers around if needed, but taking the time to choose your plants purposefully will help you achieve the result you’re looking for.
6. Add plants with different heights for visual interest
One of the keys to creating a beautiful patio garden is to add visual interest by including plants of different heights. A mix of tall, medium and short plants will create a garden with depth and dimension – something that’s often lacking in outdoor spaces.
You can experiment with hanging plant pots as well for the same effect.
7. Consider adding edible plants to your patio garden
One way to get outside and enjoy your garden more often is to plant a few things you’ll use regularly. Adding some pots of herbs or a tray of microgreens to your patio garden is a great way to make your space more functional and a fantastic excuse to go outside every day and enjoy your new space.
If you have the space, consider adding some fruit or vegetable plants. Cherry tomatoes, strawberries, and blueberries are all great options for patio gardens. Depending on what you choose to grow, you may need to add some extra support structures like tomato cages or trellises.
8. Don’t forget about the lighting
Proper lighting is critical for any patio garden – after all, you want to be able to enjoy your beautiful new space even after the sun goes down.
Solar lights are an easy and affordable way to add gentle light to your patio and don’t require extra wiring. If you want something that will provide more light for things like evening entertaining or working in your garden, consider energy-efficient string lights or LED lanterns.
For a more permanent lighting solution, you can install low-voltage landscape lights. These will need to be wired but can provide beautiful and functional lighting for your patio garden. No matter what type of lighting you choose, be sure to place it in a way that won’t create hazards on your patio.
Enjoying the sunset from an apartment balcony, heading to your porch to pluck herbs for your dinner, or watching butterflies visit your colorful container plants. Whatever your purpose in creating a patio garden, have fun with it!
These are just a few tips to get you started on creating a beautiful patio garden. With a little planning and creativity, you can create an outdoor space that you’ll enjoy for years.