Patio Gardening for a
Social Life Outdoors * Enjoy fresh tasty herbs with your summer barbeque,

* Surround your garden guests with aromatic fragrance,
* Enrich your home in organic style.
Patio gardening lets you create both pleasant and functional surroundings for your home. Whether it's a private space for relaxation outdoors or an attractive area for social gatherings, your patio garden gives you an opportunity to be immensely creative.

Not only can plant colours, textures and shapes enhance the style of your house, they also add their unique spice to the social atmosphere. So when you combine the nature of plants with a constructed hard landscape, you are really blending the functional with the pleasurable.

Find out more below. Patios are hard surfaces made of concrete, paving slabs, brick blocks, or decking. They may include gravel areas and wall pockets which can be planted as well as containers. They can be constructed around the windows and doors of your house as an entrance to both. Or they can be partitioned somewhere within your garden.

Situating The Patio

The best situation for patio gardening is full sun with some shelter from winds. But exposed coasts, roof tops and verandas, as well as sunken and sheltered gardens have all been hosts to patio gardens. A pergola may be useful for shading intense sun, otherwise don't forget, the less desirable effects of shade include growth of moss and algae - patio cleaning equipment is here.

Siting a garden patio is very much a practical issue. Consider these:

How will the space be used?

  • For Relaxing:-
  • With room for chairs & low tables, the patio will open onto a nice garden view,
  • The patio is surrounded by flowers with pleasantly 'intoxicating' scents,
  • Assess the space for ready access, sound, movement and busyness,
  • For A Social Gathering:-
  • For cooking & eating, the patio will contain a barbeque or weenie roaster,
  • Plants will include small fruit such as strawberries and delicious citrus fruit such as Kumquat,
  • Visitors are touched by fragrant aromatic herbs which they can mix directly into cooked food and fresh drinks. Find patio kitchen accessories here.

  • To Display Your Plants:-
  • Patios may include planting pockets in floors and walls as well as hanging baskets and good quality containers,
  • Pyramids or screens can display masses of color that tumble down with small spreading flowers,
  • Plants can be large and statuesque, add graceful spiky leaves and feathery flowers, grow remarkable exotic flowers, or be succulent rosettes or carpets of fragrant aromatic leaves. Find stylish containers & pyramids for your plants here.
  • To Create Atmosphere With A Themed Patio Garden:-
  • Mainly dry climate garden plants, inspired perhaps by your favourite holiday destination,
  • Warm climate flowers could be chosen around a Mexican or Californian theme,
  • Memorable Mediterranean plants grown as they are in the villages abroad,
  • South African plants that bring to mind their characteristic dry landscape.

Divide The Space With Plants

Patio surroundings may include low double walls to contain plants, or neat low hedges, plus flowers, scented lawns and pools. Pergolas or trellis work add height and screening to your display and shelter exposed places.
Most frequently patio gardeners use containers to grow either, glorious blooms and bold leaf shapes or, delicious fruit, small vegetables, herbs and salad leaves.

Discover the special plants that create style and atmosphere on the patio ...below. You'll find information on container gardening and hanging baskets from these links.

Note: when patio gardening with containers you can
  • grow some tender plants if you bring them indoors for winter and,
  • your smaller plants can grow earlier by starting them off indoors.
    Find the plants for patio here or read below for more on how they are used.

Useful Plants For Patio Gardening

  • For Social Gatherings Grow Herbs On The Patio:-
  • Thyme, Lemon Thyme and Basil next to the stove to garnish salads and burgers,
  • Bergamot (Monardia)* near the seating area to make fresh brews of aromatic teas, (similar flavour to Earl Grey tea),
    Add fresh Spearmint and Fennel to taste...
  • Silvery leaved 'Curry Plant'* (Helichrysum) grown in full sun emits a spicy aroma,
    also consider: Santolina, Lavender, Golden Feverfew, Rosemary and Sage,
  • Chamomile grown in block paving for the most wonderfully fragrant pathway. Use chamomile flowers grown on walls for making teas. Find plants for your patio here.
*Note: around your herbs take care to know all plants that may be poisonous or reactive. The 'Curry Plant' I refer to for scent is Helichrysum angustifolium not the plant normally used in cooking. But this species may contain some helpful properties. Always check before hand.
  • For Fragrance Around Windows And Doors:-
  • Thorn less Climbing Rose 'Zepherine drouin' begins flowering in early summer for a long period and emits an exquisite scent,
  • Many fragrant climbers like fragrant Honeysuckle and Clematis will grace your patio by their flowering season - some twice a year.
  • Add a low border of Sarcocca - similar looking to box, this plant adds fragrance during the winter months.
  • Hanging baskets of 'surfina' Petunias and Impatiens, along with Verbena bonariensis in the border, add their heady scents to the summer months.

Bright ideas for the Garden from Ferndale Lodge
  • For Sweet, Fresh Picked Fruit:-
  • Grow citrus fruit in containers,
  • Grow strawberries in barrels and walls with planting pockets,
  • You can also grow blueberries, redcurrants, cherry sized tomatoes, and various salad leaves in containers,
  • Try growing the bold leaved Fig plant and get some delicious fruit. Plant it against a south facing wall and grow it from a specially prepared planting hole.
  • Plants For Shape Architecture And Style
  • Try the fleshy leaved succulents like, sedums, aloes, and cacti,
  • Mix with scrubby, not too enclosing plants, like broom, cytisus, and tall grasses,
  • You can add bold exotic shapes by growing a Cycad, Tree Fern, Palm, or Banana plant,
  • A sunken patio might be surrounded by banks of large herbaceous plants like hostas, lilies or strelitzia, as well as climbing plants such as hanging Wisteria flowers, and the thorn less patio climbing rose.
Everything For A Good Life On Your Patio is here
- Grills, Tables, Chairs, Cushions, Plant Containers, Garden Lights & Accents, Wind Chimes... ... $10 off orders of $100 or more (some restrictions apply)

Be More Creative... ...

  • For Charm And Special Effects
  • Include mirror globes or plain mirrors. A plain mirror opens out confined spaces with the illusion of depth,
  • Experiment with solar powered lighting - mix unusual light quality with shadows to create a fantastic evening atmosphere,
  • Creative patio gardening also includes: mosaics, icons and figurines, bird baths, and sundials... ...
    my own preferences are for fossils, crystalline rock formations, tufa, and drift wood,
  • And don't forget to select wind chimes to match your mood.
  • Patio Gardening With Water Features
  • A small rectangular pond with a vertical plant, plenty of clear water, and of course, water lilies, and Koi carp,
  • Linear water features can have clear running water within reach of seating,
  • There are many attractive free-standing waterfall features on this link,
  • A mysterious fog can be created with these ultra-sonic water misters,
  • Underwater lights can be used to cast a gently rippling light across walls,
  • Always keep ponds covered with strong wire net when you have small children.
I'm sure that you'll agree with me that patio gardening can be exceedingly atmospheric and stylish. You probably have lots of ideas.

Now as an organic gardener I like to avoid constructing on pure green spaces. But with a larger garden your patio provides a focus to enable visitors to be in your garden without spoiling sensitive areas. And it will certainly be home to all kinds of wonderful plants.

Design, Build and Maintain a Beautiful Patio Garden with the help of the links below.

Click flag to jump to your country selection: >>    >>  
Gardener's Supply Company

The clickable images below are just a few examples of patio gardening style.

Coleman 9949-750 Road Trip Grill LXE

Absolutely Everything You Want To
Enjoy Your Garden Patio, Home and Outdoor Life is on this link - Grills, Furniture, Plant Containers, Garden Accents, Wind Chimes...

Plow & Hearth

Telescopic flow-thru Brushwasher from Fendale Lodge

Fit your Social Garden into the wider setting around your home with
more links about Flower Garden Design below (see recommended info. on container gardening):

Flowers For
More Help On
Flower Garden Design
Grow Your
Own Flowers

Flowers & vases


Display Organic Flowers


Patio & Social Gardening


Container Gardening


Winter Flower Gardens


10 Themed Flower Borders 


Natural Flowers


At Home with Flower Gardens


Buy Flower Plants


Flowers from Seed


Growing Flowers

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By Michael E. J. Scott.
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