Adding a vibrant element to your patio area through plants, flowers, shrubs and grasses is a great idea. Not only do plants add colour and texture; they make the space feel alive. But how do you decide what to grow? First, you’ll need to choose patio plants that suit the conditions in your garden. Some require full sun while others tolerate shade. But you’ll also want to select plants that fit with your design goals. Whether you’re planning a traditional terrace or a contemporary space, here’s how to design a planting scheme for your patio.
A modern patio – use plants as art installations
Contemporary patios look fantastic when they feature plants like art installations. Fill modern containers with tall, architectural and striking plants that can be grouped together and moved around the space. A few carefully positioned solar stake lights will illuminate the foliage and create a sense of drama as the sun goes down. Plants such as Musa basjoo, Fatsia ‘Camouflage’, or Pennisetum x advena ‘Fireworks’ all draw focus because of their structure. Bamboo also provides an element of screening if your patio is overlooked.
Alternatively, go for splashes of block colour to create a modern visual effect. If your patio is grey, choose fiery coloured plants and flowers by way of contrast. If your patio has an earthy tone, silver, blue and purple plants will bring it to life. Plants such as fuchsias, gazanias, or hibiscus are all great options to bring colour to your patio. Planted in containers, raised beds or the ground, their bright blooms work well en masse or as single specimens.
A traditional patio – naturalistic planting scheme
To give a traditional patio a warm and welcoming feel, choose a range of softly textured plants, flowers and shrubs to allow the eye to explore the space naturally. Plants that soften hard edges of the patio have classic appeal.
A complementary colour scheme is gentler than one filled with sharp contrasts. Our range of perennial plants for pollinators works well with traditional earth-coloured patios, containing many cottage garden favourites. Try hardy geraniums, coreopsis and peonies for a splash of colour. Soft grasses and roses also help to bring structure to a traditional space. If you’re using containers, choosing pots that closely match the patio makes the space look bigger and maintains the flow.
Choose a style and get creative
Choosing the right patio plants begins with identifying those that will thrive in your growing conditions. Once you’ve done that, the options are endless. Whether you go for cool architectural foliage or frothy cascades of colourful blooms, the plants and flowers you choose can transform the feel of your outside space.
Treat your patio as if it were a room in your home. There’s no right or wrong, provided you know the effect you’re trying to achieve and work towards a cohesive scheme. For more inspiration and advice, head over to T&M’s dedicated patio plants hub page.
I’ve been around paving & patios all my life. Primethorpe Paving as a company has existed since 1999, and I’ve only existed since 1994, so for the majority of my life I’ve been either around or involved with this industry! Since 2015 I’ve worked full time as Primethorpe Paving’s product strategist so have in-depth knowledge of all things paving as well as any complementary products. More recently I joined the content creation team to begin publishing information on how to get the most out of your patios – new & old!
Choosing the right plants for growing around patios