Patio Landscaping with Containers: 7 Tips Patio Landscaping with Containers: 7 Tips

When designing your patio landscaping, add color and greenery with container gardening. Pot and other containers can help define and focus even the smallest of backyard patios. You can plan a container garden to suit certain activities, to gain privacy or just to display a few select plants. Here are several tips and ideas for container landscaping that are easy to create and maintain.  

1. A Play Area for Children

Determine how you use your patio most often. If it is play space for young children, plant hardy evergreen shrubs in containers at the corners of the patio. Reserve an area closer to the house, away from the patio door, for flowers and other ornamental plants.

2. A Place to Entertain and Relax

If you entertain friends and family for barbecues and quiet chats on the patio, plant more elaborate arrangements in your containers. Include flowers whose nectar will draw butterflies and hummingbirds. Define one side of the patio with an outdoor bench fitted with built-in planters in the middle and at each end.

3. A Defined Private Space

If you have adequate seating on your patio, build long narrow containers out of retaining wall bricks down one edge, or place 2 at a right angle. Fill them with a wide range of plants to create a privacy border.

4. Ornamental Plants

Whether perennials or annuals, select plants that have the same needs for light and water to go in one container. Put the tallest plants in the center, smaller ones around them and the lowest ones around the outer edges, as their leaves will fall over the edge of the container. These plants do well in containers:

  • Tall plants - Canna lilies, hibiscus and bamboo
  • Smaller plants - Coleus, lavender, hyssop and geraniums
  • Low spreading plants - Nasturtium, pansies, violets, verbena or petunias

5. Evergreens

Great container shrubs include juniper, the many varieties of burning bush—which turn from green to red in autumn—and rosemary, an herb you will find many uses for in your cooking. If you prefer an evergreen tree, choose pine, hemlock or arborvitae.

6. A Kitchen Garden

If you can devote some time to gardening, plant a salsa garden in container nears the kitchen. You can include green onions, hot peppers, the herb cilantro and grape or cherry tomatoes. If you like to cook with fresh herbs, plant a container with parsley, oregano, sage, thyme and other savory herbs.

Most importantly, choose flowers and plants in colors and shapes you like. It will give you great pleasure to look after them.

7. Types of Containers to Use

Choose large round ceramic pots for evergreen shrubs and trees, multi-herb gardens and ornamental flowers. If you live in a warm subtropical climate, convert an old birdbath into a container for succulents such as yucca and cactus. Line the bottom with stones to provide good drainage, and water infrequently.

Patio container gardens need only regular watering and a bit of weed control to add vibrant color and life to your landscape.

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