The well-dressed patio is more than just a place to sit in the sun. If it's designed with forethought into the way it will be used, a patio can be a functional, attractive addition to any home. One space that often gets short shrift in both patio and garden design is the border around the patio. Putting some thought into creating patio walls and built-in planter boxes can turn a plain patio into a welcoming space that is useful without being utilitarian.
Patio Knee Walls for Extended Seating
A patio is a room of sorts, and a room benefits from having walls. Many patios simply end at the edge of the patio floor with no border between the entertainment space and the rest of the lawn. One way to define the outdoor space and add extra seating is by adding a knee-height wall around the outside perimeter of the patio. The wall can enclose one or more sides and open out into the yard. A knee wall built of the same material as the patio floor gives a seamless appearance, but there are other design options as well. A wooden bench planter that matches the patio furniture, for instance, can bring the whole patio design together in the same way interior wall colours can pick up the patterns in a sofa. Instead of letting corners go to waste, build planter boxes into the wall to fill with colourful flowers and trailing plants to give the patio a finished look.
Raised Garden Bed Planter Walls
A low wall around the edge of the patio can become both decorative and functional when it holds planter boxes for a raised bed garden. Make the wall at least 3 feet high for easy garden tending, and work in multiples of 1-foot widths to use square foot gardening principles if the planters will be used to grow herbs, fruits or vegetables for the kitchen. A planter up to 1 foot wide is easy to tend from the patio itself. If the planter box will have access from outside the patio as well, the box can be up to 2 feet wide. Anything wider than that will be difficult to tend. For even more appeal, combine a planter wall with patio seating by topping part of the wall with boards for seating, and leaving part of it open for planting.
Patio Privacy Wall with Planter Boxes
Create a cosy patio room by building a full height wall on one end, with or without an attached pergola. Rather than using a solid wall, though, build the wall of heavy-duty garden lattice to maintain some openness and allow air circulation. After the wall is constructed, fit it with brackets to hold planter boxes and plant them with trailing vines and flowers. Create even more vertical interest by building in a planter box at the base of the wall and planting them with climbing vines to twine in and out of the lattice.
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