Patio garden ideas for decorating small decks and patios with style. Pictures of unique landscape designs that will easily adapt to the tiniest courtyard or most modest budget.
Private patio garden in Cordoba, Spain.
A well-designed patio garden is a roofless room; during good weather, it can be the most lived-in square footage on your property. With good planning, even the smallest yard can house an outdoor sitting or dining area filled with plants that suit its exposure and establish its mood.
Designing a patio or deck garden is the most enjoyable of landscaping projects and a good one for a beginner to start with.
Let the patio garden ideas on this page inspire you to create your ideal outdoor room.
Jim Thompson House, Bangkok, Thailand
There are two ways you can go with this concept:
Your exposure may make this decision for you.
If your deck is shady for most of the day, flowering plants will be unlikely to get enough light to induce bloom. Focus, instead, on foliage plants. Add interest by varying the leaf textures and shapes.
A sunny deck provides you an opportunity to assemble the collection of tropical flowers you've always dreamed of, but it will take just a bit more planning. Decide on a color scheme before you start buying plants or your tropical paradise could wind up a hodge-podge.
Whichever direction you take it, a tropical garden needs to be lush. After all, you're trying to simulate a rainforest. Rainforests are not restrained spaces, so pack the plants in cheek by jowl.
Just remember to leave space for a comfortable seat. You'll want someplace to relax and admire your creation when you've finished.
An opulent garden on a small patio.
A sense of opulence can be achieved in the most diminutive garden if attention is given to three things:
A fountain with seats nearby on a small patio.
The mood established here is that of a French garden. The fountain pays homage to those in the gardens of Versailles right down to the pots of flowers "planted" around it.
An outdoor dining room surrounded by sumptuous plantings.
Water plays a role in most of the garden designs on this page. In the garden above it is the dominant feature. Because the pond flows under and around it, the patio appears to be floating in the water.
Water is visually cooling and soothing. Moving water adds sound which can enhance other natural sounds: birdsong, for example, or mask unnatural noises.
Potted palm trees adorn an indoor courtyard
Above, a lighted water feature surrounded by potted areca palms, provides an idea of how delightful a patio garden can be at night.
White lights are always elegant and do not have to be pricy. You can float lit candles in a pond, stuff baskets full of Christmas lights, or place lanterns on any flat surface where they will not be easily upset.
A feature wall becomes a focal point on a small patio.
The brightly-colored feature wall on this patio provides a surface on which vines can scramble and a backdrop for a dramatic tiled fountain. Water flows from the top basin, to the slightly larger middle basin, into the pool below creating a waterfall effect.