Patio plant designs can be challenging when your space is tight. For apartment and condo dwellers, outdoor space is scarce and valuable. You want to enjoy the patio space you have, but at the same time, it’s nice to have some design touches to enhance its look and feel. Fortunately, you’re not alone, and designers have heard your plight. Enter the Landscape with Less movement. All around the world, designers and landscape architects are working magic in small outdoor spaces using a minimalistic approach.
The Landscape with Less Movement
Green plants, flowers and edibles are beautiful to look at, certainly, but they’re more than that. They help improve air quality and provide a natural cooling element to the environment. Also known as landscape ecology, the Landscape with Less movement is simply a way to bring more plants into our lives, even if we have little space or few resources to invest. You can enjoy your own minimalist garden even on the tiniest porch or patio, using found items for planters. Selecting the right mix of plant species, along with appropriate levels of water, fertilizer and care, will give you a garden that thrives all year long.
Start by Preparing the Space
To maximize your space, start by clearing everything away. Chances are you have some random clutter stored on your patio. Get rid of it. Next, evaluate your color choices. Tiny spaces seem to explode with white walls and floor, plus white is the perfect backdrop for whatever details you want to add. Keep furniture simple. Wire frame or reproduction mid-century hoop chairs are small enough in scale to fit rather than take over. Keep the volume of furniture to a minimum. Two chairs and a small table is plenty. Keep a couple of folding chairs and a pop-up table or topper nearby that you can use for dining al fresco and having friends over. However you set up the patio, dedicate specific areas for your planters.
Select Containers and Plants with Purpose
The idea with a minimalist patio is to add elements with purpose and intent. Found planters are great, but they must fit in, both in size and scale. If you have created a sleek white space with pops of mid-century color, a rustic wine barrel planter might seem out of place. Scour flea markets, vintage shops and yard sales for the right shape and size, then add your own colors to make it perfect.
Wire baskets, turned wood vases, even Lucite wine buckets make perfect planters. Choose a mixture of height, circumference and texture for maximum visual interest. Place some on stands, some on the deck and you can even hang some to expand your potential.
Once you’ve identified your containers, select your plant species. Think vertical and select those varieties that grow tall but not too big around — single, non-flowering plants with an architectural feel or tall succulents, dwarf spruce, bamboo, reeds and boxwood are all great choices. If you favor blossoms, choose African or Gerbera daisies for their vibrant color and character. If growing edibles is on your list, consider some of the lettuce varieties, scallions, Glencoe raspberry or tiny alpine strawberries.
Before you decide on your plants, stop by Millcreek Gardens in Salt Lake City. Our professional team can recommend the best varietals for your space, and suggest the perfect soil, amendments, fertilizers and other methods to care for your new container garden. With only a little effort and a small investment, you can make a contemporary statement with your own patio plant designs.