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Deck And Patio Gardens

Deck and Patio Gardens can add color to your front or backyard. A variety of small trees, shrubs, and flowers can be used. Herbee loves helping people plant around their patios or decks. Adding colors and textures to these outdoor features, really enhances your yard. Think of planting around these areas, and possibly doing an informal look. This is another design you can create using your very own personality. Take a look at some factors you should think about when your start your planning phase. Let's start with a Patio design.

Most patios are built square, rectangle, or some curved. Depending on the location of the patio, will determine what size plants to use. Most patios come off a house, and the view is facing your front or backyard. In designing this area I usually recommend using dwarf shrubs and perennial flowers. Save the trees for your backyard gardens.

Grills are very popular on patios, along with table and chairs. I like the idea of putting a couple of decorative planters or pots with annual or perennial flowers in them. Another thought for a planter, is putting a dwarf shrub, such as a Sunkist Arborvitae, or a dwarf hemlock and position the shrub in the center with flowers surrounding it. Add three plugs of ivy on the edge of the planter. The ivy will drape over the edges and create a colorful addition to your planter.

Create A Trench

Trench In A Bed

Use a tiller or a shovel and turn the soil over. Smooth out the dirt with a rake. If you are doing a patio design, make sure the soil is not level with your patio. The dirt should run away from the edge of patio. A two to four inch trench around the edge bed is nice for water flow and also for your finished look.

If you look at the photo you will see this trench we did is deeper. The reason was the contour of the land. We needed to make sure the flow of water was correct. One important factor when doing this garden area, always plan, prep, and then plant. More information on this P-P-P method below. After you plan, make sure the ground is properly prepared. An idea for a bed design is to snake the border. Take a hose and outline the area you want your bed to be. You can also chalk it if you would like. Landscaper chalk is available at stores.

Keep in mind your outdoor color scheme when choosing the color and texture of shrubs. Dwarf shrubs are available in most areas. These shrubs average between one and three feet tall and one to three feet wide. I recommend one or three gallon containers. Here are a few suggestions for you.

  • Dwarf Arborvitae - evergreen - soft skinny long deep green leaves.

  • Dwarf Euonymous - evergreen - variegated shiny, yellow and green leaves. I have one shaped around my mailbox.

  • Globosa Nana - bright long green skinny leaves. A fairly new plant - texture is really cool.

  • Elegans Nan Cryptomeria - shiny green leaf evergreen. This shrub is in the Japanese cedar family.

  • Soft Touch Holly - evergreen - leaves are more soft then other hollies. Nice semi- round shape.

  • Golden Flame Spirea - deciduous - pretty white flowers in the spring or summer months. Old fashion looking plant.

  • Mop Cypress - False Cypress family - evergreen, variegated shrub with yellow and green leaves year around.

Flowers play a big role in any landscape project. Annual or perennial flowers add color to these outdoor features. Depending on your zone, you can select almost any color you want. Intermingle the flowers around your shrubs. Place your taller flowers directly in front of or around your shrub. Smaller flowers go in the front. Border your bed around your patio with one type of flower, or mix two to three different varieties. Another possible border is Liriope, or Mondo grass. You can get Liriope in a solid green color or a variegated green and off white. Below are a few ideas for different flowers.


Colorful Flowers

  • Lobelia cardinalis - perennial - tall red flowers.

  • Dianthus - perennial - pretty pink flowers in the spring and summer months.

  • Viota Cornuta - perennial - purple flowers in the summer.

  • Candytuft - evergreen in southern zones and perennial in mid and northern zones, - white flowers blooming different times of the year.

  • Salvia - blue sage - perennial - tall thin blue/purple flowers in the spring and summertime.

  • Coreopsis - perennial - also called Black Eyed Susan - tall dark green stems and leaves with yellow flowers in summertime.

  • Sedum - perennial - white or red tone flowers in late summer. Turns to fall colors in autumn.

Low Deck Plants Along Deck

These are just a few examples of some dwarf shrubs and flowers. Another option is to plant some of your favorite herbs if the location is sunny. Any of these can be used around low decks also. Designing around a larger deck is very similar. If your deck is tall - four to six feet high or higher, you will have more selections of small trees, shrubs or flowers. You will do the same format as with a patio, or a low deck. Larger plants in the back rows, middle size and smallest up front. Here are a couple of suggestions for plants around your deck.


Larger Shrubs

  • Cleyera - evergreen

  • Burning Bush - deciduous - upright form. Beautiful along with a sold green shrub.(Hinoki Cypress)

  • Tea Olive (Osmanthus) - evergreen

  • Viburnum - evergreen - Herbee loves theSpring Bouquet.

  • Lemon Thread or Lemon Twist Cypress - evergreen


You can do some mass planting around your deck or patio and keep the area a single base theme. Remember to use mushroom compost before planting. Learn some basic steps in building a deck below. It doesn't matter whether you have a large or small deck or patio. Add a few shrubs and flowers, water properly. The result will be a great area to cookout and entertain your family and friends. Take a look at some other garden ideas below. It doesn't matter what time of year it is. Always remember to plan first, prep properly, and plant. Your steps in providing a solid outside investments.

Herbee Greenthumb

Other Related Articles

Evergreen Plants --- Outdoor Features

List Of Perennial Flowers --- How To Plan A Garden



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