Patios represent relaxing weekends, family time, serenity and a place to get away from it all. A well-designed patio flower bed can also increase property values by adding colour and dimension to an otherwise drab environment.
Raised flower beds are simple to construct, and their height makes them easier to tend than flower beds that are flush with the surface of the patio. The design is only limited to the materials used for construction. Materials could include landscape timbers, logs, PVC pipe, cement, bricks, pavers or any solid building materials. You can build a raised bed with one level, or you can make tiers that look like stair steps, giving you more options for height in plantings. You can make a simple raised bed with plain timber or a more elaborate bed made with bricks or pavers.
A flower bed that is flush with the surface of the patio allows more options for the shape and design of the bed, since it doesn't have to be constrained by building materials. The flowers can tumble onto the patio to give the bed a more natural look while still keeping the focus on the patio. Adding pavers along the edge of a flush bed will give your flowers room to tumble without overtaking the patio.
Fence and Trellises
Adding a small fence and trellises along one or more sides of your patio flower bed gives the patio privacy and provides a place for vining flowers to grow. Along with the trellises, you can add archways and overhangs to provide shade to the patio, making it more usable during the hotter parts of the day. Letting vining plants flower overhead will give a tropical lanai feeling to the area.
For a calming feel, try a low-maintenance Asian rock garden. Small, smooth stones flowing around a larger focal rock or cluster of rocks represents the movement of the ocean around the islands. Add a few potted flowers or some border plants. Asian gardens sometimes incorporate a fountain or koi pond to complete the relaxing effect. In this case, choose more tropical flowers. Keep in mind as you build your design that adding a water feature increases the maintenance that your garden will require.
If your house has a classic design, you might try a formal flower bed around the patio. For a balanced appearance, create matching beds on opposite sides of the patio. With this style, you can incorporate raised beds and flush beds for a more dramatic appearance. Add pavers as walkways and plant fragrant ground cover, such as chamomile, between the pavers. This adds fragrance to a formal garden without leading the eye away from the ornamentals planted for visual effect.
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