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Help! I've Got a Patio With Only A Patio Heater On It But What Plants Should I Add To My Terrace?

February 16, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 267

I'm at Wisley, the famous RHS gardens in Surrey situated between the A3 and M25. I'm watching my four-year-old daughter tear up and down one of the large slopes. Either side are pretty rose gardens and there's a fragrant smell in the air.

I want to come here for some inspiration for my own tiny patio garden. How do you make paving slabs look interesting? Apart from a gas patio heater tucked in the corner, my paved area lacks any type of furniture or plants. I can even visualise grass strands poking out between the slabs as I stand here at Wisley waiting for my daughter to finish rolling down the grass hill. What a mess my terrace is in and what a boring patch this part of my garden is. I was keen to have a house with a patio area but I am not so confident now!

I glance over past the pink rose bushes at Wisley and spot the small gardens. As a child I always enjoyed poking around their model gardens planted by their experts. These gardens are something I can relate to, something to aspire to one day. Here I am having fulfilled my gardening dreams and yet I haven't a clue about what to do with my patio. There's only so much you can do with a square patch with a single gas patio heater on it.

Model Garden

Gently, I persuade my daughter to move on after a promise of chocolate ice cream. We're now standing under a pretty arch. What's greeting me now is not what I expected - this model garden is full of raised beds surprisingly of vegetables. Who would have thought that vegetables could be displayed in such an interesting way.

I'm discovering more from the experts and there's a surprising number of ways that even me as a novice could do to brighten up a patio. With patios that are square, as I find, identical containers and plants are ideal for making entrances look interesting. If you don't want to put the hard work in, little Conifer trees could be for you too.

Pots can be moved around

I also note that arranging small containers together can also make a big impression. As I learn, the secret is lining the little pots up in rows.

Here's another discovery I found from Wisley - Cacti and similar drought tolerant plants can be left alone for a long time. They only even need a prune every so often. If your patio is windy you can add large pots. Broad based Terracotta pots and zinc cubes are good for this sort of thing. I love the idea of Buxus balls - they look stylish too.

A week later and I am standing on my own patio - my two daughters are playing on the slide at the far end of the garden. I have tidied up those embarrassing blades of grass. I have also mixed some different sizes of pots together. There are tiny Conifer trees, some Pansies and even Ivy spilling over the top of them. What a wonderful array of colours and there's even a sweet smell coming from them.

Around the patio heater, which has a wooden table, I place two Terracotta pots with Cacti in them. On the ground are one of those zinc cubes.

I stand back and admire my handy work. What a difference just a few pot plants can make to a patio and a little imagination. The key all along, as I found, was to copy what the experts were doing and put my own twist on it. As the sun goes down I fire up my gas patio heater and admire my work.

Tim Mitchell is the Marketing Manager at Simply Patio Heaters - extend those Summer evenings in the warmth.

Source: EzineArticles
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