Introduction – How to choose the right plants for your patio

Adding an element of life to your patio area is a great idea. It makes the space feel different – not only will plants add colour, but they make a space feel alive. But how do you make sure you are selecting the right plants? There are many guides on making sure you select plants that will survive your space, but we want to make sure they also fit with your design goals. There are normally two styles of designs that you are likely trying to achieve with your space: a traditional area, or a modern area.

Your choice of plants will be different depending on which of these you are aiming for:

A modern space – using plants as art installations

The purpose of modern spaces is to create specific focal points within your space that draw attentions – like an art installation. You should consider tall, strong and striking plants to place on and around your patio. They should immediately draw attention, whether that is through their imposing stature or vibrant colours, the plants should stand alone and work incredibly hard to draw focus.

©Thompson & Morgan

Plants suchas Agave, Bamboo (potted!), of Feather Reed grass are tall and imposing and will draw focus because of their structure. Bamboo is a particularly good conversation piece, just make sure it is potted, as it can really grow out of control if you let it!

©Primethorpe Paving

Alternatively, you can go for splashes or colour to create a visual effect. These colours should be a direct contrast to your patio, so for example if you have a patio with a warm, red hue, then colder colours such as blues or purples should be chosen.

Plants such as Fuchsias, Princess Flowers, or Hibiscus plants are all great options depending on your patio colour. The bright colours will do a great job drawing focus.

A traditional space – let the eyes wander naturally

A traditional space is quite a contract to the modern space described above. The aim of this space is to not draw attention to one area and to let eyes explore the space naturally. The plants you choose here should compliment each other and fit the colour scheme of the rest of the space.

©Primethorpe Paving

The colours of your plants should complement your patio colours rather than create a contrast. If your patio consists of earthy colours, then go with earthy and pastel colours for your plants. Try Tall Tails of Green Jewels for the earth colours and mix them in with Park Princesses. In general, a mix of wild grasses natural coloured flowers is going to go a long way to creating a traditional space. If you are potting plants, ensure the pot colours match the patio as closely as possible to maintain flow. If done correctly, a traditional space is a pure joy. It’s just tough to get it right!

In conclusion – pick a style and get creative

Choosing the right plants can seem daunting, but it shouldn’t. You should enjoy the task of learning which plants may survive in your space and once you’ve got the technical knowledge, the task of choosing which plants suit your garden is an artistic hobby like any other. Express your inner artist and treat you garden as your easel. There is no right or wrong answer if you know the effect you are trying to achieve – pick a direction and then embrace your creative mind. You will love the result.

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